Giving with a warm hand
For reading & meditation: Proverbs 22:1-9
"A generous man will himself be blessed '" (v.9)
Does being a generous person mean you will always have plenty to give away? Not necessarily. This would be a naive interpretation of the principle we are discussing. Certain other texts of Scripture have to be laid against these verses in Proverbs if we are to get a more complete picture of the truth under discussion. Some Christians
cannot be trusted with a lot of money or earthly goods; they just would not know how to manage them. That said, it needs to be noted that you do not have to be rich to be generous. A pauper can give like a prince, providing he or she has the right spirit. An old Jewish saying puts it like this: "The man who gives with a smile gives more than the man who gives with a frown." It is the spirit of generosity that the Bible focuses on first of all - the spirit that gives, not because it wants to get but because it simply delights to give. Someone has defined generosity as "giving with a warm hand." I like that. Who likes to receive anything from a cold hand? As you know, the opposite of generosity is selfishness, and just as generosity is a facet of wisdom, so selfishness is a facet of foolishness. A teacher said to a class: "Unselfishness means voluntarily going without something you need. Can anyone give me an example?" A little boy raised his hand and said: "Yes, sometimes I go without a bath even though I need one." We smile, but how many of us do the same thing and turn a truth on its head to take the pressure off ourselves?
O God, help me to be a person who gives "with a warm hand." Melt any coldness and iciness there may be in my spirit and make me a magnanimous and generous person. Fire me with a passion to give. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
For further study:
1. What did Jesus teach about giving?
2. What is the principle of sowing and reaping?