August 2, 2016
One Thing You Can’t Do
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25, NIV)
Friend to Friend
I pretty much consider myself to have a black thumb. Charcoal, even. I like plants and genuinely try to keep them healthy and thriving, but fail at it a lot more than I succeed. So a few years ago when my BFF brought me a baby aloe plant, my heart was torn between girlfriend-gratitude and feelings of sorrow for the innocent little aloe.
A few weeks after she gave me the plant gift, my friend told me a story. She confessed that she struggles to share things and said that she had two aloe plants for a long time. One day she felt a heart-nudge to give one of them to me and she decided that she would give me the small aloe baby. (Bless her heart! She obviously knows nothing of said black thumb!)
For weeks she had meant to act on that heart-nudge and give me the aloe plant, but just never got around to it. She’d think about bringing me the aloe plant when she wasn’t home or remember late at night when it was too late to run it by my house. In the back of her mind she thought that one of her plants would surely have an aloe baby offspring … reasoning that she could just give me that one instead of one of her two plants.
Finally, she remembered.
She brought me the cute little healing plant and gave it to me with a smile. We threw down a happy plant-dance that morning as we shared a cup of coffee and our hearts in conversation.
As we sat at my kitchen table again, coffee mugs in hands, she finished her story by excitedly saying, “The most amazing thing happened this week, Gwen! When I walked past the aloe plant that I’d kept for myself, I noticed that a baby aloe plant had sprung up in the pot! It was almost like a little present from God reminding me that I can’t out-give Him. That when I trust Him and obey His nudges, He blesses me right back.”
I nodded and smiled. That’s what is referred to a boomerang blessing. You throw out a blessing, and then one comes right back around to you.
In the Bible God calls us to be generous, and He promises to bless us when we are. God’s Word has a lot to say about the connection between generous giving and blessings.
“Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice” (Psalm 112:5).
“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25).
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19, NIV).
God calls His children to generous living, no matter what we have, who we are, or where we live. Even the poorest among us are called to live generously. And let’s not confuse the matter: it’s not about our bank accounts – it’s about our hearts, our time, our talents, and our treasures. We are to be generous, willing to share, and rich in good deeds for the glory of God.
Here’s the promise: blessings follow generosity.
Of course, this will look different to each of us, but we are ALL called to give as we live. I was blessed when my friend gave me that baby aloe plant. She was blessed too. God made sure of it. He always does. We can’t out-give God.
Dear Lord, You are so generous. Thank You for the abundance of Your grace, mercy, love, and truth. Help me to live generously and to give open-handedly just as You do with me.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now it’s Your Turn
Where does this promise and prompting find you today? Have you been nudged lately to do something? Do you struggle to share things, both tangible and intangible? Maybe the thing you need to give is forgiveness to someone or to yourself – or encouragement – or kindness. Got a family member, neighbor, or friend in need? What will your response be?
I would love to hear about it. Click over to my blog today to let me know that you “will give as you live,” or to share a boomerang blessing story.
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Originally published Tuesday, 02 August 2016.