defined-by-generosityProverbs 22:9“He that hath a bountiful [good; cheerful; gracious; pleasant] eye [attitude; character; inclination] shall be blessed [praised; thanked]; for he giveth [assign; appoint; deliver] of his bread [food; meat; fruit] to the poor [weak; needy; afflicted].”

The subject of Proverbs 22:9 is not necessarily a rich man, but a man who has a rich and generous spirit.  He sees those less fortunate than himself and is moved to give—not reluctantly or sparingly, but generously.  We should ask, “From whence does this spirit of generosity arise?”  The answer is deeply rooted in his heart and character. You see, a “bountiful eye” has nurtured a proclivity to generosity.  The reward for such generosity is the praise of God and one’s fellowman.

There is a deeper principle in this verse than the challenge to give out of one’s abundance.  A “bountiful eye” is in its essence gracious, pleasant and cheerful.  An attitude of generosity begins in giving something far more personal than material possessions—it commences in giving oneself.

You might reason if you had more to give you would be generous.  The reality is, a selfish, self-focused attitude is characteristic of the natural man.  Whether he is rich or poor, a narcissistic man will remain selfish and vain until he confesses his attitude as sin.Joy of giving

Someone reading today’s proverb has hurt and disappointed those closest to him because he is stingy with his life, time and resources.  Rather than praise, his ways have earned him the disdain of those who love and need him most.

If that is you, will you stop now and confess your sin?  Will you have the character to do the right thing and ask your loved ones to forgive you for being selfish and self-centered?

Go ahead…I dare you!

Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith