Monday, July 14, 2014

Proverbs 11:24-26 -- On Adding Some Faith

"There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.
The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it."
Proverbs 11:24-26

In many scriptures (Matthew 5:42, 3 Nephi 12:42, Luke 6:30, 2 Nephi 4:35), God tells us to give to people who ask, and in the last example, that God gives to those that ask... an example for us.  I think one of the things that we worry about with that is that we will give and not have anything left over for ourselves.  Nancy Kress wrote a novel called Beggars in Spain that deals at least on one level with a similar idea... what if there are so many beggars that it would bankrupt you to help them all?  What do we as a society do with the "unproductive" element of society?  ... And God's answer here, interestingly, is still... give.  God tells us that withholding more than is meet tendeth to poverty.  ... More than is meet... hard to know where that is, but obviously saving some is a good idea, but saving everything or hoarding is too much. :)  But instead of delineating that line, or worrying about it, God just says, basically, if we give, we will prosper.   If we help others, we will be helped.  It is so opposite the wisdom of the world that we kind of turn our heads sideways and stare.  It's a similar principle to tithing.  If we make that sacrifice and give, then our blessings will overflow.  But wait, we say, none of this makes sense... because we're expecting it to make economic sense, or to add up correctly.  And it's true, from that perspective it doesn't.  We can't possibly give everything away and just join the crowd of beggars, can we?  Paying tithing isn't going to make the car payment easier.  ... But like everything else with God, when we try it, we see miracles.  Luke 14 tells us that the cost of discipleship is everything.  All that we have.  That definitely doesn't add up economically.  It didn't for the widow who offered all that she had either... but faith has to do that.  It has to go beyond what we see and what we can test or validate up front, or it wouldn't be faith.
Today, instead of trying to make things add up correctly, or  budget in generosity, let's remember God's promise here, that if we give, we will also be given.  Let's try to step out of the box a little bit, and exercise our faith.  Things add up differently with God... let's give him a chance to show us how.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews