Proverbs 11:24-25 – “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. 25 The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.” NKJV
It is always fun to read the Old Testament and find a passage that has been defined in the New either by our Lord Himself or one of the apostles. There are two prominent New Testament Principles that can find their beginnings in this passage. The Law of Sowing and Reaping or Reciprocity and Giving. These are explicitly addressed in the New Testament.
Here the writer describes two kinds of people – Generous and Stingy. I have known people who were generous to a fault and some who pinched every penny so tightly it squealed when released. The latter would sometimes give but grudgingly and with much compulsion and convincing. The writer declares that one leads to an increase and the other to a lack. He reveals that the generous will prosper and the wonderful truth that the one that cares for others will be cared for by others.
Paul taught that God loves a cheerful giver, and some have attempted to expand this truth to make it an investment plan to provide riches for themselves. They omitted any consideration for the motive behind the giving or the purpose for the increase. That is why some who have attempted this principle became disillusioned and gave it up as a false doctrine. The Purpose is as important as the gift. What is the motivation behind the gift and the desire for any return? God is not interested in satisfying our personal greed or carnal appetites. He does what He does with purpose, and it is always focused on the redemptive.
The Law of Sowing and Reaping reveals a principle of farming that we reap WHAT we sow. If we plant watermelons, we will not reap cucumbers. If we plant peanuts, we will not reap carrots. WHAT we sow regardless of what that is will come back whether that is money, compassion, labor, etc.
We also reap LATER than we sow. No farmer plants seed one day and expects to get up the next morning to bring in the harvest. Time is important in the process. We also reap MORE than we sow. We plant a grain of corn, and it produces a stalk that produces ears of corn that have multiple grains. We plant a pea and reap a stalk that produces many pods with numerous peas in them. So, we reap what we sow, later than we sow, and more than we sow. The principles revealed here are the same.
Jesus addressed giving in numerous places and the Bible makes it clear that God is far more interested in the purpose and proportion than the amount. In Luke 6:38 Jesus spoke of this principle saying, “Give, and IT (whatever you give) will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put in your bosom. For with the same measure (proportion) you use, it will be measured back to you.”
The Law of Giving as described by Jesus reveals that WHAT we give is WHAT we get in return. The principle is advanced that the return will be WHAT we give and MORE than we give. I suggest that this principle can be immediate or over time, but it will be WHAT and MOREand be directly connected to the proportion of our giving.
If we give love, then love will come back to us. If we give mercy, then mercy will come back to us. If we give hate, then hate will come back to us. If we give a helping hand, then a helping hand will come back to us. As we cast our bread on the waters after many days it returns to us.
When Jesus sat near the offering bucket and watched those who had much put in their gifts, He was largely unimpressed but when the widow came and gave her all He was. He even declared that she had given more than all the others. MORE? Not in the amount but in the proportion.
I like to say, “If you didn’t notice it or feel it when it left you will likely not notice or feel it when it returns.” If it had no impact on you departing it will have no impact when it returns. If you give with a teaspoon, why expect a watering trough in return? I know the return is MORE than the outlay, but the proportion will still hold true.
I pray that God will inspire a spirit and heart of generosity in each of us. Blessings!