19 May A Proverbs A Day // Proverbs 19
The 19th // Proverbs 19
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will repay them for what they have done.”–Proverbs 19:17
When I read through Proverbs 19 [I had to read it through TWICE], I decided that I was just going to partner the 19th and the 20th together because I’m exhausted and this chapter is ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE. It talks about so many different topics that I can’t seem to find one that is overreaching enough to summarize this chapter.
But this is a challenge. Therefore, it’s supposed to be challenging. I’ve made it this far and I’m going to stick it out!
While only a few verses in this chapter truly touch on it, I do feel like Solomon touches more on the concept of generosity throughout this chapter. Generosity, in and of itself, is selflessness. It’s the giving of your money, time, resources, skills, goods, treasures… whatever it may be… to someone else for their betterment. Typically, true generosity means that there is nothing in it for the giver, so the act is often considered “incredible,” “selfless” or even “heroic.”
Typically, when I think of generosity, I think of the selfless giving of money to others, but Solomon takes generosity a step [or 500] further. He tells us to be generous…
… with the amount of time we give ourselves to pursue wisdom.
Remember that when Solomon talks about wisdom you can equate it to Christ. He tells us that desire without knowledge is a dangerous combination [19:2] and that those who seek and find wisdom seek and find life [19:8] [19:23]!
… with our money.
Solomon talks a lot about the giving of our monetary gains in this chapter. He refers often to the rich and the poor, but it’s evident that our author believes that the generous are the rich ones and the stingy are poor ones. In verse7, he tells us that the stingy are shunned by their relatives and friends and that they will consistently be approached by others who are lacking in generosity [19:7]. He says that by being a generous person makes you attractive to others! He says that the generous attract many friends [19:5], but that the stingy and the selfish will be deserted by their closest friends [19:4]! He says that those who give to others in need will ultimately be rewarded [19:17]!
… with our work ethic.
Solomon has mentioned laziness several times over that past 19 chapters, and he makes a point to mention it again today, too. He says that those who are lazy will go hungry [19:15] and that those who continuously take and take and take from their father and mother bring shame and disgrace upon their families [19:26]! [On a side note, he also tells parents to step up and discipline their children. He goes so far to say that when you choose not to discipline your child, you play a role in leading them to their [spiritual] deaths [19:18]. By disciplining our children we give them hope!]
Today, I pray that my heart is stirred. I pray that it is pushed on towards selflessness so far that I become more than selfless… I become generous. I pray that I become more generous of my time… that I devote more time to being present with my family and more time to growing in my faith and more time to help others. I pray that I become more generous with my earnings. I am so, very blessed and as a believer, I am called to give more and more to others, to causes and to the church! It’s the least I can do to share the joy that God brings into my heart!