“One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV
We never lose when we give generously to God and His work!
What Does the Bible Say About Being Generous?
Generosity is a major theme of the Bible. We have generous God ( Titus 3:4-7) and He calls us to generous living as His people (Romans 12:13).
First, when God laid out His laws for His people in the Old Testament, generosity to the poor, the struggling, the foreigner, and your neighbor in general was front and center. Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. Deuteronomy 15:10 NIV
Second, and most importantly, God was most generous to us by Jesus stepping into our world, dying for our sins, and conquering death so we could be saved. Because of this generous gift, we now have love, mercy, grace, peace, hope, and life in abundance. It only makes sense that He would want us to share it with others:
If we live in the light as He is in the light, we share what we have in God with each other. And the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, makes our lives clean from all sin. 1 John 1:7 NIV
Finally, Jesus called us to generous living through His teachings. “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.” (Luke 6:38 NIV)
Practical Ways to Be More Generous
Generous living is not always about breaking the bank. Of course, we should tithe to our local church, give to those in need, and be good stewards of the money with which God has blessed us. We should also think of ways to give our time and talents.
Here are some ways we can make a point to be more generous:
- Sacrifice a weekly coffee (or other indulgence) for a month and give the extra money to a local mission or missionary.
- Buy a few extra groceries each trip to deliver to the food bank.
- Offer to babysit for an overwhelmed mom.
- Make a meal for a new neighbor (or some one else in need).
- Use a skill, gift, or talent to bless some one else without asking for payment.
- Rather than reselling used items, look for some one who could really use them and gift them.
- Volunteer at a local school, hospital, senior home, etc.
Benefits of Being Generous
Why do farmers plant seeds? They fully expect to harvest a great deal more than they sow.
It’s the same way with both generosity and stinginess : a small decision to do either good or bad reaps a much larger crop, for prosperity or poverty the proverbs states.
As moms, one of the things at the forefront of our minds should always be what we are teaching the next generation. Our generous living will rub off on them and teach them to live generously as well.
The benefits of generosity as laid out in Proverbs 11:24-25 are as follows:
1. We gain more than we give.
We can’t out give God. He made it all and owns in all. Many people are concerned about giving money, time, and service because they don’t understand this promise. They mistakingly think by giving to others that nothing will be left for them.
However, God assures us in His scriptures that He will always supply our need and He will give us enough to give plus more. Consider the following scriptures:
- Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ You have not given Me the tenth part of what you receive and your gifts. You are cursed, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! Bring the tenth part into the store-house, so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the Lord of All. “See if I will not then open the windows of heaven and pour out good things for you until there is no more need. Malachi 3:8-10 NIV
- God can give you all you need. He will give you more than enough. You will have everything you need for yourselves. And you will have enough left over to give when there is a need. The Holy Writings say, “He has given much to the poor. His right-standing with God lasts forever.” It is God Who gives seed to the man to plant. He also gives the bread to eat. Then we know He will give you more seed to plant and make it grow so you will have more to give away. God will give you enough so you can always give to others. Then many will give thanks to God for sending gifts through us. This gift you give not only helps Christians who are in need, but it also helps them give thanks to God. You are proving by this act of love what you are. They will give thanks to God for your gift to them and to others. This proves you obey the Good News of Christ. 2 Corinthians 9:8-13 NLT
2. We will prosper.
When we say a thing is prospering, we don’t just mean it’s getting along like it should, but rather it is thriving in its environment. It is strong, healthy, and successful. Jesus promised that His disciples would, “have life and, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b NIV)
When God says “the generous person will prosper”, He means it. We will be satisfied because our God will fulfill our needs. Not just physical needs, but spiritual as well. We will be full of joy, peace, trust, and faith.
3. We will refresh others and ourselves be refreshed.
Acts 20:35 NIV says, “We must remember what the Lord Jesus said, ‘We are more happy when we give than when we receive.’” When we give to others, we relieve a burden on them, we encourage, and we lead them to praise God. At the same time, our hearts are blessed to know that we have done good for another person and that we have honored God by obeying His commands.
Charles Bridges comments on the second half of verse 25, ““The minister is refreshed by his own message of salvation to his people. The Sunday school teacher learns many valuable lessons in the work of instruction. Every spiritual gift, every active grace, is increased by exercise, while its efficiency withers by neglect.”
The more we seek to freely give, the more we ourselves are blessed. It’s a win-win!
A Prayer to be More Generous
Lord, help me to live with a generous heart. I want to freely give to others in the same way you freely gave your life for mine. Show me a better way to give or my time, talent, and treasure so that You are pleased. Thank you that you reward generosity. I will seek to refresh others so that I myself can be satisfied and refreshed in You.
Show me any greedy or selfish way in my heart. Forgive me for giving begrudgingly. Change my mind and heart so I will prosper as a generous follower of Christ. Amen.
Find more Wisdom in Proverbs for Moms devotions here.