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The Wisdom of Generosity
Proverbs 11:24 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
24 One man scatters freely, yet adding more;
another withholds what is due, and only suffers want.
One man scatters freely, yet adding more: The Hebrew particle of affirmation here rendered one man (יֵשׁ yesh) is a marker that affirms the existence of something, the state of something, or something that happens. In other words, it could read there is a man who … This does not mean that it is characteristic of all men or in every case, but rather it simply means that in some cases, in some instances, sometimes. Scatters (to spread, to distribute freely, to disperse) is a literal rendering of the Hebrew word (פָּזַר pazar), which is saying figuratively to give freely, implying generosity.
The same Hebrew is used in Psalm 112:9, which says, “He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor …” Here, we are being told that we are to give generously or be generous with our money. However, there is no place within Proverbs or any other part of Scripture that we are to give beyond our means, putting our family and us at financial risk. We are never encouraged to be foolish with our money.
Yet or and so is a Hebrew coordinating conjunction that, in this case, is expressing a surprising outcome based on what had just been previously stated. Even though there is one who gives his money generously to help others, he just keeps getting richer. Literally adding more means getting richer in this case. Again, there is the man who generously gives his money away to help others, and yet his wealth just grows all the more.
another withholds what is due, and only suffers want: Another withholds (יָשַׁר yashar) his money from those in need, refusing to give freely. What is due refers to what he should give, that is, what is morally proper to give. Only suffers want closes out the contrast between the person in line one and here in line two, with the thought being, the man who refuses to help others in need, begrudgingly holding on to his money, reluctant to give, ends up even poorer.
How strikingly different from all such stinginess of many in the world is the example set by God! Generously he created man and woman perfect, placing them in the beautiful Garden of Eden, designing them to love and enjoy one another, as they filled the earth, their home, a gift from God, with perfect humans. He designed humans to live forever and enjoy endless and inexhaustible blessings upon earth. He cares about more than the material blessings though, but also his spiritual gifts are generous. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproaching, and it will be given to him.” – James 1:5.
Clearly, Solomon deeply appreciated the wisdom of generosity. Christ Jesus emphasized the wisdom of generosity as well. “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure that you are measuring out, they will measure out to you in return.” (Luke 6:28) “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from one that wants to borrow from you.” – Matthew 5:41-42.
Paul also stresses this point, especially in his second letter to the Corinthians: “We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. In return (I speak as to children), widen your hearts also. … “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” – 2 Corinthians 6:11, 13; 9:6.
However, let us not think that our generosity is all about money. Yes, there are other things we can give if we have neither silver nor gold to give, such as our physical health. We can offer others the truth of God’s Word, the depressed we can offer the hope and comfort of God’s kingdom. We can give those struggling spiritually, spiritual health. These things are worth far more than gold and silver. Like the one who gives freely of his riches and becomes even richer, the one who freely gives of his time and energy in his efforts to bring comfort to others, to help them become refreshed, prosperous, and spiritually stronger, we too will become stronger in our faith.
Yet, another area where we can be generous is with the mercy that we give to (show) others. We can be generous in how we view others in all walks of our life: family, fellow Christians, neighbors, coworkers, and others. We are all imperfect and fall short every day, and we all make mistakes. If we hear negative reports about our fellow man, give them the benefit of the doubt until we know for certain. We can try and ponder or think of any extenuating circumstances that might have caused or led to … Clearly, to show generosity is the wise path: Such will enrich both the lives of whom we generously give and to ourselves as well, whether it is money we give or spiritual gifts that we give or in our generously showing mercy to others. Generosity enriches.
 The Hebrew verb (פָּזַר pazar) means to scatter: to spread, to distribute, to give to another implying generosity, a figurative expression of sowing seed
 That is, grows all the richer
 That is, what he should give
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