"The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed." Proverbs11:25 (NLT)
I tried my best to smile for the camera in the grocery store. Tears welled up in my eyes and cascaded down my cheeks, dragging my mascara along for the ride. I had one toddler on my hip and a baby on the way, a pressing concern when our only income was from my husband who was paid straight commission. Some weeks he earned money; others brought no paycheck at all.
That day in the store, my budget was so tight my dollars squeaked! As a result, I had to remove a few items from the conveyer belt as I watched the total mount. As I paid for my order, the cashier handed me a scratch-off card from the store's current promotion. Customers could get money off of their order by matching dollar amounts revealed on the card.
I used a dime to rub away the shiny silver coating, revealing a $10 match! Smiling, I handed the clerk the card and asked for the "can't afford them" items back. "Sure!" she replied. "Now, do you want to use the remainder of your prize today or on another trip?"
My puzzled look must have clued her in. "What?" I questioned. She then showed me I'd actually won $100! A manager quickly snapped my picture to display alongside the other smiling winners on the store's wall. Only in my photo, my smile was saturated with grateful mascara-smudged tears.
During those lean days God always took care of us, often through generous people in our lives: groceries left anonymously on our porch, cash in an envelope tucked under our windshield after church, and hand-me-down clothes from an acquaintance who wanted to share her children's outgrown clothes.
We learned to live frugally during that time, and yet God also challenged us to give. As we did, we found ourselves blessed. Sometimes monetarily. Always spiritually.
Nowadays, although at times our family experiences layoffs due to the nature of my husband's employment, we are in a place where we can more consistently be the "bless-er" and not just the ones being blessed. What a thrill it is to treat, secretly pay, or stealthily provide as we ourselves become spiritually blessed and ultimately God—the giver of all things—is glorified. As Proverbs 11:25 states, "The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed" (NLT).
Will you willingly contribute to God's work and also to others, refreshing them as God also refreshes you? What we have—both our money and possessions—all belongs to God. When we give, we receive. The boomerang of blessing comes right back around.
How might you seek to display generosity toward someone today? You just might make their day. Or perhaps, even make their mascara run.
Dear Lord, teach me to treat all I have as Yours. May I give willingly and cheerfully as I seek to be a blessing to those in my life who might need a helping hand. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
If you want to learn to increase your faith and trust in God, check out Karen's new book and DVD curriculum LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show & Start Walking in Faith.
Reflect and Respond:
Name a time when you were blessed by someone's generosity, whether in person or anonymously. How did it make you feel to be the recipient of their kindness?
Do you know someone who is currently in financial need? Bless them this week with either money or needed items.
2 Corinthians 9:7, "Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver." (HCSB)
Matthew 6:3-4, "But when you give to the poor, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (HCSB)
© 2013 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105