Proverbs 11:24-25 says, One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (NIV)
I’ll be the first to admit that by worldly standards, it doesn’t make any sense. How can you gain by giving? But it’s a spiritual paradox that has proven itself over and over again. And it’s not something that’s found just in the Old Testament. Jesus said in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (NIV). It might sound crazy, but the Bible very clearly teaches us that giving results in gaining.
But if you think that sounds crazy, then get this. While the Bible teaches us that we give to gain, gaining is not the sole purpose for our giving. We give because the Bible commands us to give. We give as a demonstration of our stewardship (management) of what God has entrusted to us. We give because, as Paul points out in Acts 20:35b, Jesus himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive (NIV). We give to demonstrate that God has first place in our lives. We give to break the power of money in our lives. We give out of thankfulness for all that God has given to us. We give so that God can use us to meet the needs of others. We give to demonstrate our trust in and dependence on God.
The person who gives solely for the purpose of gaining…believing that a gift of a certain amount will automatically result in a return of a greater amount … is not giving from the right heart. The Bible promises us that when we give we gain, but God alone determines what that “gain” will be and how it will come into our lives. It might come back to us in the form of some kind of financial blessing, but God knows that there are greater blessings to receive than more money in your pocket. And we can know that the blessing (the gain) that comes back to us, whatever it might be, is exactly what we need the most.
My counsel to you is to remember that the Bible teaches that a generous man will prosper. Let God bring prosperity, whatever that might be, into your life by being a generous giver.