The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
This seems to turn todayís popular viewpoint upside down. The common thread of thought in our culture is to ďLook out for number oneĒ and to be very careful what you give away, whether money or time or energy. After all it takes so much of each to meet our own needs. Who can blame us when we donít have very much left over to give to charitable efforts? Shouldnít oneís priority be his own welfare? To live humbly, paying less attention to our own affairs and taking more time caring for others is a foreign concept for most of us in this fast paced society.
Godís word gives a different perspective on the priorities of life.
From Proverbs 11:25 The generous (meaning: liberal in giving; unselfish*) prosper (meaning: to be successful or fortunate*) and are satisfied(meaning: completely paid, as a bill*); those who refresh others (meaning: to renew the well-being and vigor*) will themselves be refreshed.
As I understand this, if we give or our money, time or energy to help others, we will be repaid and will have more time and energy ourselves. We can see this in going to comfort those in sorrow. We donít realize the capacity we have for comfort until we abandon ourselves to comforting someone else.
Bible study teachers experience this as they open the scriptures for someone else. They will gain deeper understanding of scripture through Godís Holy Spirit and from the students themselves.
Proverbs 19:17 says, If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORDóand He will repay you!
How much should you give? That is a question that is between you and God.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 advises, Remember thisóa farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Donít give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
The way to see Godís power is to step forward and to put it to the test. We are not meant to keep to ourselves. Our purpose is to reach out to others. Reach out with whatever it takes to refresh another and see if you donít receive Godís refreshing.
*The Random House College Dictionary
The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to...