Proverbs 11:24-26 – You poor, stingy old soul

scroogeProverbs 11:24-26 challenges us with the familiar spiritual principle “Sowing and Reaping” (Galatians 6:7).  To state the principle as a common analogy—We not only reap what we sow, we also reap in proportion to how much we sow!

Proverbs 11:24 – “There is that scattereth [disperses], and yet increaseth [adds to; surpass]; and there is that withholdeth [keeps back; refrain; reserves; i.e. keep back for oneself] more than is meet [right; upright; due], but it tendeth to poverty [want; need; lack].”

A farmer decides in the spring not only what he hopes to reap at harvest time, but also how much he hopes to store up for winter.  He must determine not only what seeds to plant, but also the amount of seed he needs to sow to reach his harvest goal.   A farmer who hoards seed is a foolish farmer because he fails to value the potential of life and multiplication represented in one seed and the possible threat of insects and mold in his storage bins.  Such a farmer does indeed risk coming to poverty!businessman with his arms wide open in rural field

Herein is the challenge for both the farmer and by way of application, the Christian.  A hoarding farmer is a fool as is a Christian who hoards and fails to be a steward of God’s overflowing abundance in his life.  Two arenas come to mind when I read verse 24–Financial stewardship and the stewardship of ministry, talents and opportunities.  Too many Christians hoard money and are blind to their responsibility to give the excess God entrusts to them by investing in God’s work and ministry.  Some are leaving their children a wealthy inheritance, but entering heaven as little more than  spiritual paupers.   What a tragedy to have the means to be a blessing, but choose to withhold from the Lord, His church and servants “more than is meet” (11:24).

Proverbs 11:25 – “The liberal [blessed; prosperous] soul [life; person; heart] shall be made fat [satisfied; prosperous]: and he that watereth [to quench the thirst of another; satisfy; fill] shall be watered [rain; flow as water; moisten] also himself.

Solomon continues his lesson on stewardship by stating a proverb that is full of promise—an abiding sense of joy and satisfaction is God’s reward to the man who is generous out of what God has entrusted to him.seed

God promises, give out of what He gives you and you will never want!  Be a conduit of God’s blessings to others and know God will refresh your soul.  Like an overflowing water fountain promising cool, refreshing water, let your life flow forth the time, talents and gifts God has entrusted to you.

Proverbs 11:26 – He that withholdeth [keep back; deny; restrain] corn [grain; i.e. wheat], the people [nation; community] shall curse [blaspheme; pierce] him: but blessing [prosperity] shall be upon the head [chief; top; ruler] of him that selleth [buy and sell grain] it.”

I often wonder why men and women of wealth wait until they die before bestowing on their loved ones those things that could be blessing and comfort to their heirs and a source of joy and satisfaction to the bestower while they are alive.

Why do Christians blessed with abundance watch their church and Christian ministries struggle?  Why hoard more than you need knowing faithful servants are praying for God to bless and sustain their family and ministry?

Dear friend, that stingy soul of yours is a curse when it could be a blessing.  How tragic!

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith