Wisdom on Giving.

Some give freely, yet grow all the richer; others withhold what is due, and only suffer want. Proverbs 11:24

Every culture has its own set of proverbs or wise sayings that preserves wisdom that is important to teach new generations. We all can think of the sayings we grew up with. Having had to do cross cultural ministry I discovered that most of these sayings are repeated with slight variations or in different ways in most if not all cultures. The Book of Proverbs is a collection of similar sayings. While the book itself is attributed to Solomon, not all the proverbs are original to him even though it begins "The Proverbs of Solomon, Son of David, King of Israel." In 1 Kings 4: 32 we are told that Solomon spoke 3000 proverbs. That means there were many wise sayings credited to him that did not make it into the Book of Proverbs. Verse 34 of 1 Kings 4 says many kings came to hear Solomon speak. I am sure that this was not just a one sided conversation but that they shared and compared these sayings even as he was learning. In the Book of Proverbs therefore we have some 300 sayings of Solomon from Ch. 10: 1 – ch. 22: 16. These are believed to originate from him. Another 130 sayings were added to the book during the reign of King Hezekiah, years later. The others however are thought to be from the community and from those who visited him. Others are attributed to other kings and at least one king’s mother. The main focus of the Book of Proverbs is to share wisdom by which we can live morally strong and righteous lives.

The text for today is a lesson about giving. A person can give what they have to assist the needy, giving liberally so that others can be taken care of. Such persons can easily find that the more they give, the more they receive. It is as Luke 6: 38 tells us: Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." In the same way the person who shares the gospel of Christ, will grow in spiritual wisdom and understanding. At the same time, there are those who have been blessed with the resources to help those in need but hold back from giving all the help they could have given. Such persons are left worse off or much poorer than those who give abundantly. The souls of sparing givers are starving even as there are souls starving due to their lack of care.

Friends we need to examine how and what we give. A good way to do so is to examine the result of our giving. When we give from the depth of our hearts and give what leaves us with much less than we began with, God will bless our giving and return much more to us. As Malachi 3: 10 reminds us: Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. When we give abundantly to the work of God we are blessed even more abundantly. At the same time those who are tightfisted towards GodÂ’s work will never know the blessings that could have been theirs. Are you an open fisted or a tightfisted giver?

Till next Tuesday, be blessed!


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