There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it. –Proverbs 11:24-26
There is a blessing and joy in being generous. When the Bible speaks of a liberal soul it is a soul seeing to bless others. It is not one working out of obligation following a set of laws or standards. A liberal soul seeks to bless one that is not seeks excuses. It sees giving as a chore (well I made $162.49 last week so I need to give $16.24 this week or gets up on Sunday morning thinking what a lovely day too bad I can’t go fishing, I’ve got to go to church). Liberal souls invest themselves in others, like Jesus did.
Think about it, Jesus was (and still is) concerned with the individual. He reached out to the outcast in society:
He touched the leper (Matthew 8:2-3). Not only did Jesus heal him, but went beyond and touched the unclean. Sometimes in modern, polite society we like to help “those people” but at a distance. Jesus got up close and personal, so should we. When I worked at the Circle of Love some of these guys showed up off the streets were not in the best condition (I can’t say a lot, I wasn’t in the best when I came there either) but you love them and help them (I use to have little bags made up with toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, deodorant and a clean pair of socks to give each guy when they came in. You would be amazed at how good just having a clean pair of socks makes you feel, but I digress). There is more to being generous than giving money.
He ate with the tax collector (Luke 19:2-10). He eats with the outcast and brought salvation to his house. Do we influence the world or the world us. A liberal soul will stand out and make a difference.
And the results of being liberal? Being made fat (which means to thrive or be prosperous) and I like the illustration here: he who watereth (slakes someone’s thirst: i.e. give them a cup of water) will be watered (to flow as water: rain). Give a cup and get an old fashioned gully-washer! A couple of other thoughts:
Giving yields increase, but withholding leads to poverty (v.24). While we do not get to give a soul that is not liberal will be lacking (Ever notice when you do not tithe, the money runs out about the 25th of the month?)
Being liberal does not mean we have to give it all away (v. 26). Notice it did not say he who gives it away would have a blessing on his head but he who sells it. It is ok to make a living, turn a profit.
Is it easy? No, sometimes I don’t feel like giving but when the opportunity comes, it can make a positive impact in their lives and ours. Have I mastered it yet? Not hardly, sometimes I try not to be liberal and I get so convicted by the Holy Spirit that I have to repent and do it (ever wonder if in the footprints story where it says where there was one set of prints I carried you or does it look more like this: ========== where we were dragged along as we dug in our heals?) It is worth the effort to cultivate through prayer, dedication, and effort (yes, it does take a conscience decision to do this) to get the liberal soul. Let’s look for someone and something to invest into with eternal reward, not just in this life.