Living Generous in a Global Pandemic

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

I am writing this series on the subject of being generous during this pandemic season. My goal is to share how you can impact others during hard seasons and crises. Life is very different, would you not agree? School buildings are closed, and proms and graduations are canceled. It is summer and there is no “Play Ball!” to be heard anywhere. How strange is that? On a more serious and somber note, 30+ million Americans have filed for unemployment, businesses are suffering, and there is a palpable sense of fear permeating our world. How now shall the child of God live in such troubling times?


On way is that as followers of Christ, we are to be generous. You may question me on this and say that now is not the time to be generous, but the time to be cautious and make sure to look out for yourself. That is precisely the world’s philosophy, but you cannot find such a viewpoint in the Bible. Instead, you find examples in Scripture and throughout history where the people of God give, serve, and help not only out of abundance but also out of need.


I love the Book of Proverbs. I have been reading a chapter in this wisdom literature every day for 15 years. The verses for today’s devotion are so instructive and helpful. At first reading, one may think it does not add up. How can the person who scatters actually increase? How can being generous and giving lead to being rich? True, it may not make sense at first glance, but look a little closer.


The Hebrew word translated “generous” is berakah and is often translated as “blessing.” The person who constantly seeks to bless, to be a blessing to others, the one who is generous and does not become greedy or stingy will be richly rewarded. The second part of the verse gives further explanation to the first part, an example of Hebrew parallelism. The one who waters—I like that. Are you one who waters, refreshes, gives life, makes things better for others? If you are, then you are being watered and blessed yourself. Just like friendly people have more friends than unfriendly people, generous people who bless others will receive more generosity and more blessings will come their way.


I like the following interpretation of Proverbs 11:24-25:


It is axiomatic that greedy and selfish people, epitomized in Western literature as Mr. Scrooge, are hated by the populace at large while generous people gain love and respect. What the hoarder fails to realize, however, is that in the economy of God the greedy ultimately lose even the material things they try so hard to keep while the benevolent only prosper more and more. [1]


May God empower you today to be a person of generosity. Seek to bless, support, and help others. When you do, you will notice how God just keeps blessing and watering you. The following statement is so true:  you cannot out give God.


Prayer:


“Dear God, help me trust you at Your Word and become a person of generosity. Empower me to scatter seeds of blessings wherever I go. Help me also, Lord, to seek to refresh others instead of first seeking to be refreshed. I love You, Lord. I am excited about how you are going to work in my life!”

   


[1] Garrett, D. A. (1993). Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (Vol. 14, p. 127). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.