Proverbs 11:16-17

A generous woman gains honor,
and ruthless men seize wealth.
A kind person benefits himself,
but a cruel person brings himself trouble.

Remember yesterday, how I said, we want to be able to help our friends and family by loaning them tools and books and stuff? (I know – that’s really eloquent sentence…) This is why. There is honor to be gained when we are generous and kind.

It’s easy to go through life with the mindset of getting everything we need for our comfy cozy lives. It’s easy to even become ruthless in our pursuit of this. We get so focused on the end goal of having everything we could possibly want and still have plenty of money left over to buy whatever we may want in a couple months that we stop caring about the means with which we acquire it. There is no honor in acquiring wealth in an ungodly way. God will not bless our lives when we live this way.

Instead, we need to be generous people. We need to be willing to give away anything that someone else might really need. I know it’s hard. It was hard to even write that sentence. It’s hard because we think of it as ours. It’s mine. Why do they deserve it? Maybe they don’t. But, maybe we don’t either.

Let me preface what I’m about to say with this: this way of living is not a motivation to store up favors for ourselves that we can call in. However, this amazing thing happens when we are generous. When we are generous to the people in our lives, when we are kind and help others when they need it, it’s like we are making deposits into our own future. There will come a time in all our lives when we need something that it outside our own ability to acquire. We may go through a tough time in our lives where we have a hard time providing for some of the basic needs of our family. If we have made deposits of generosity in others’ lives, then that kindness we have shown may very well be the thing that saves us.

Again, our motive can’t be to build up this stock pile of favors to call in. But, when our motives are right, God honors that. And God has this way of reminding his people of the good things others have done for them and using that as fodder to get them to do good for others. The hope is that we will all be in the process of living our lives this way – proverbiously – so that we all view life in the same way.

Of course this doesn’t always happen. That’s why the proverb describes the opposite. There are ruthless men in the world who seek to seize their wealth. Seize is used on purpose to conjure feelings of building their wealth in a non-proverbious kind of a way. Seizing is cruel. Kind of like collection agencies. They’re going to come in an seize what they are owed one way or another.

The person who lives this way will find himself in trouble someday. And when he is there, he won’t have made any deposits of generosity to be able to draw from.