One person gives freely, yet gains even more. Proverbs 11:24
On her wedding day, Gwendolyn Stulgis wore the wedding dress of her dreams. Then she gave it away—to a stranger. Stulgis believed a dress deserved more than sitting in a closet collecting dust. Other brides agreed. Now scores of women have bonded on her social media site to donate and receive wedding dresses. As one giver said, “I hope this dress gets passed from bride to bride to bride, and it just gets worn out and is in tatters at the end of its life because of all the celebrating that’s done in it.”
The spirit of giving can feel like a celebration, indeed. As it is written, “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:24–25).
The apostle Paul taught this principle in the New Testament. As he said his goodbyes to the believers in Ephesus, he gave them a blessing (Acts 20:32) and reminded them of the importance of generosity. Paul pointed to his own work ethic as an example for them to follow. “In everything I did,” he said, “I showed you that by . . . hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ ” (v. 35).
Being generous reflects God. “For God so loved the world that He gave . . .” (John 3:16). Let’s follow His glorious example as He guides us.
What good gift have you given recently? How did your gift help someone?
Dear Father, please open my hands to give to others with Your love in my heart.
Proverbs 11:24-25 provides winsome images that illustrate principles of generosity and stinginess. “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered” (esv). Contrary to human reasoning and self-preservation, giving can result in gain and emptying to fullness. Closed hands, clenched fists, and hoarding are inconsistent with the gospel and the teaching and example of Jesus (see Luke 6:38). In 2 Corinthians 8:9, Paul summed up the generosity of Christ: “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”