Why does giving it away lead to such fruit?
There’s a proverb that says, There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right but it leads to poverty (Prov. 11:24 NKJV).
Another version puts it this way: One person gives freely, yet gains more; another withholds what is right, only to become poor (HCSB).
Think about it. In our world today, we’re encouraged to save up for the rainy day. Prepare for retirement. Start saving early—let compounding do its job. Be frugal. How many budget-driven, retirement-driven ads show up in your news feed every day?
Each of those messages all suggest that if you save up, if you hold on to it, then you’ll be prosperous. I suspect we’ve bought into that message at some level or another. But the proverb suggests otherwise—that saving up, holding on too tightly is no guarantee against poverty.
Instead, the counter-culture message is to scatter. I don’t know about you but that word scatter seems almost a little careless, reckless. Even, dare we say it—anti-frugal. Forbid it!
But there it is: scatter and increase more. Give freely and gain.
I’m challenged by that idea. Scatter, be a little reckless, a little less ledger-oriented. Find ways to be a giver—of my time, my relationships, my care, my money, my agenda. And I’ll increase.
I’m not advocating some sort of calculated formula here. I don’t believe this proverb promises monetary gain from reckless giving. But I’ve experienced enough to be convinced that generosity does indeed lead to increase, whether that’s more joy, continued success or the hope of eternal reward.
I think I’ll aim to give more freely, to scatter now and then in my practice of generosity. What about you?
Photo by Taneli Lahtinen on Unsplash
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Published August 1, 2020