Most people like the idea of generosity, especially when they're on the receiving end! But being generous is not so easy for many of us.
We can say, "I don't want people to take advantage of me." OK, but what's a more likely reason? It may be, "What's in it for me?"
The concept of generosity as a lifestyle is something that is cultivated for most of us. And yet, generosity pays off. People who are generous, as a rule, are happier, healthier, and have richer lives, even without wealth.
Some people give much but get back even more. Others don’t give what they should and end up poor. Whoever gives to others will get richer; those who help others will themselves be helped. People curse those who keep all the grain, but they bless the one who is willing to sell it. [vss 24-26]
Whoever looks for good will find kindness, but whoever looks for evil will find trouble. Those who trust in riches will be ruined, but a good person will be healthy like a green leaf. Whoever brings trouble to his family will be left with nothing but the wind. A fool will be a servant to the wise. A good person gives life to others; the wise person teaches others how to live. Good people will be rewarded on earth, and the wicked and the sinners will be punished. [vss 27-31]
(Proverbs 11:24-31 NCV) [Context– Proverbs 11]
Whoever gives to others will get richer
- What are we told about those who give to others? What are the benefits of being generous and open-handed?
- What seems to be the consequences of those who aren't generous, and keep what they have for themselves?
- How does good character appear to be linked with a generous heart? How are selfishness and greed characterized?
- How do these verses illustrate the principle of sowing and reaping? Is the key giving something, or having a generous heart?
Make it personal...
What is your experience with generosity and kindness?
When you are on the receiving end of generosity, how does it impact you?
How does being generous affect your thinking, attitude of heart, and life?
What are specific ways you could be more generous and kind to others?
Some people seem naturally generous and kind. I'm blessed with a wife who is just that. For me, it is more of a learned behavior and attitude of heart. I am, like most people, selfish. But I've learned the blessing of giving and showing kindness.
Generosity requires trust at some level. Either our trust in humanity, which can be very fickle, or trust in someone greater than people. The key to the truisms in Proverbs is based on trusting God. My confidence is in Him, not people, which in turn frees me to be generous.