“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”
Proverbs 11:25 (NLT)
The idea of being generous in the world’s eyes is not synonymous with being prosperous. If you are always giving, how can you ever store up wealth for yourself? As contradictory as this idea may seem, it proves true when you approach it from a spiritual standpoint.
Solomon explains in Proverbs 11:25 that the generous person – the one who does not cling tightly to all he or she has, who willingly shares with others and who makes an effort to give to anyone in need – will themselves find great blessing. Sometimes this blessing can come in the form of a return act of kindness from the person to whom we have given. But, even when we aren’t repaid materially, we always receive satisfaction and joy, as Proverbs 11:25 says.
What do you think of when you hear the word refreshment? My first thought is a cold sip of lemonade on a hot summer day. When you are sweating and your mouth is dry, the coldness of the lemonade brings refreshment to your body. The sweetness and the tartness combine to make you smile and you are refreshed – brought back to a healthy, hydrated state.
People in need are like that state of thirst, before the lemonade has quenched it. There are many ways people can be in need – materially, emotionally and spiritually – which means generosity can be given in all those ways as well.
How generous are you? Is there someone you know today that you can help by providing a material need? Is there a lonely person you know who would enjoy some company? Is there someone close to you upon whom you need to lavish compassion and grace? There are so many ways we can be generous, and when we are we can be that cold sip of lemonade to someone’s dry desert.
Proverbs 3:27-28 exhorts, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it is in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, ‘Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.'”
Pray for ways you can be more generous with your possessions, time and emotions. When God answers, do not delay. Refresh others, and in turn, you will find refreshment, too!
The PDF below is a card that can help you organize ways you would like to be more generous. Print it on 4.5″ x 6.5″cardstock, and then fold it as a trifold. When it is open it can stand up, and when it is closed, it is in the shape of a small bookmark that you can slip into your Bible.