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  • Ed Hlad

One Just Like the Other

Here is the same thought from last week but only different. “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessings will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Prov 11:24,25

People take to the streets to demand what they, more often than not, are unwilling to give. God, through the book of Proverbs, gives us the formula for receiving. Give. If I want respect, then I must water with respect, and then the odds are better in my favor that I will receive respect back. No, it does not always work that way but it is the best way to receive respect. If I have other needs, such as love, kindness, or friendship, then the best way to get those needs met is to give to others those very things.

I remember watching a podcast of three authors. Each was young, a Christian, and seeking to be godly. They were speaking of doing their best to live minimally and to give away most of what they had. They chuckled as they spoke about how much God was blessing the sales of their books and how that created difficulty in giving so much money away. I am not saying that all of us will receive money if we give money but we may receive a greater understanding of what we truly need. That, in itself, is a great blessing.

What I find interesting in thinking through these principles is how many of us “burnout” as we give. We only serve for short periods of time. We get discouraged because we give and give and do not receive back. We show hospitality but do not receive it back. We help others but are not helped in return. Does that mean that these principles are false? Might the problem lie in that we are looking for water in the wrong places? Doing unto others as we would have them do unto us does not guarantee that others will treat us in kind...it just gives us the best shot (according to God). Our water may come in other ways and places. Maybe we will learn more about Jesus and how he was treated. We might learn the extent of God’s patience with us. We may learn what it truly means to be a servant. The Holy Spirit might give us insight into the depths of mercy. Our cars might run longer than we ever expected them to run. Blessings might be abounding but we are too busy looking in the wrong places. We want what we want but God is giving us what we truly need.

Discouraged? Frustrated with people? Tired of being the whipping boy? Give and then ask God to open your eyes to how you are being watered. God’s principles are always true.

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