One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
The one who gives freely already is ahead because he is free from the control of money and possessions. His security and self-esteem is not bound to possessions; rather, his joy is in blessing others and in furthering the work of God’s kingdom. To put it another way, it is bearing fruit that gives him delight. The “Scrooge,” however, is a slave to money and possessions, always fearful of losing them. Even if he may be compelled to give some small amount away, he loses because his focus is on his loss, not on the blessing he imparts.
The irony that the proverb notes is that the generous giver typically ends up richer than the money-keeper. I’m reminded of a fundraisers’ seminar I attended. The speaker noted the difference between those who inherit wealth and those who earned their wealth. The former, when considering if and how much to give, think in terms of subtracting from their wealth. (If I have 10 million and give 1 million, I will have 9 million left over.) The latter, on the other hand, believes he will be able to replace what he has given.
But the proverb’s point is not that givers know how to earn money better than nongivers, but that God who sees all and controls all will bless the person who is like him in giving. For God is a generous giver. And he especially delights in giving to real need, in giving cheerfully, in giving generously, and in giving to please God.
God gave his Son freely and with delight. The Son gave freely of himself. The Father and the Son give freely the Holy Spirit. Just have we have been freed from bondage of sin to live righteously, so we have been made wealthy in Christ so that we may give freely. What will you give today? Will it be money? A gift? A possession? An act of friendship? The gospel? Pray that today you will give generously.
© 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org