One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. – Proverbs 11:24

I remember visiting a very poor village on the outskirts of southern China. We were visiting homes and listening to their stories through interpreters when one particular man, who was clearly the head of the household, took an interest in me. He motioned for me to follow him outside. When I did, he proudly showed me a tub that had two really good-sized fish swimming around in it. I’m not sure, but I think that he was showing me the food that he caught that morning . . . food that would feed his family that night. So I tried to politely express my admiration for his fish with non-verbal communication. Basically, I made the facial expression of “wow” and gave him a thumbs up. Now, anyone that knows me knows that I can be a bit expressive. Well this time, maybe I was a bit too expressive because this poor man who didn’t have two nickels to rub together got a big smile on his face and immediately found a plastic bag so he could scoop up the fish and give them to me. He wanted to give me his family’s only meal for the night!

While he put the fish in the bag, I was thinking to myself, “What am I going to do with a fish?” We were going to leave his house, walk a few miles to a van, and drive a few hours to an airport to fly back to the main city. This gift would be more of a hassle than a blessing to me, but you should have seen the joy in this man’s eyes as he gave freely out of what he had. I tried to refuse, but as he insisted I realized that the only polite thing I could do was accept his precious gift. And while I couldn’t use it, it was one of the more meaningful gifts I have ever received.

Now, here’s the point. I don’t think that because this man “gave freely” he automatically grew richer in a financial sense. In fact, the unfortunate odds are that that man will die in the same poverty that I met him in. However, the fact that he was able to “give freely” even when it didn’t seem like he had much to give, means that he lived a type of life that was richer than his poverty. He realized that there’s a certain power over circumstances that comes when you choose to let go instead of holding on to your possessions. I can’t promise you will become financially wealthy if you give, but I can promise if you can find it in your heart to give freely, you will find a richer kind of life. I hope you do.

Josh Rose
Discipleship Pastor

Subscribe to the Daily Fill