He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed –Proverbs 11:25b.
It is more blessed to give than to receive – Acts 20:35
These three biblical phrases are statements that contain an exhortation and a promise. I’m convinced that many, maybe most, believers have not grasped the depth of the meaning found within each statement. The exhortation is that we believers are to be givers. The promise is that we will be greatly rewarded as we embrace and practice these three statements. Now lets’ look very carefully at each phrase.
A GENEROUS MAN WILL PROSPER!
What a great text. We are called to generosity. This is a summons from God to all believers . . . yes, to you and to me . . . to all of us. Not to the rich or the poor alone, but to all. This generosity includes everything that He has given to us . . . money and time. God has given us so much. We are to be channels from Him through us to others. Never stingy. Never miserly. Just as God has generously given to us, let’s pursue the gift of giving to others. Why? Because He models generosity to us. Also because He promises that we will “prosper.” Some will say, “I can’t afford to be generous.” The greater truth is that we can’t afford NOT to be generous.
HE WHO REFRESHES OTHERS WILL HIMSELF BE REFRESHED!
There’s a boomerang effect when you and I become refreshers and encouragers.
The text here says that we refreshers will be refreshed. What we send out will ultimately come back to us. The refresher will be refreshed. The encourager will be encouraged. Isn’t this good news? God confirms this to be true. Don’t argue with the text. Be assured that it will happen. The text, however, does not give us the details as to how it will be returned to us. We don’t know HOW or WHO or WHEN we will be refreshed. But it will happen. God has promised us, that in His own way and in His good timing we will be refreshed. He orchestrates the details. Sometimes it might come directly from Him or indirectly (meaning He will send it to us through others). But either way, He is the One who will send refreshment to us, as we refresh others. Let me illustrate it through our ministry of Barnabas International. All of us in the organization spend our lives ministering to others. As we serve, we are ministered to by others. We continually see the Boomerang Effect. As we refresh others, we are refreshed by others.
IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE!
These words of Jesus are recorded in Acts 20:35, as stated at the top of this letter. I will state it again . . . It is more blessed to give than to receive.Here are a couple of translations of this same text:
Happiness lies more in giving than in receiving.(NEB)
There is a greater blessing in giving than in getting (BAS)
It makes one happier to give than to be given to (GSDP)
As I have grown in my walk with God, He has helped me to understand the reality of this text . . . not just a mental assent but a genuine practice. As I have asked God to make me a giver, He has nudged me to grow as a happy giver. My wife, Evie, and I have found this to be one of the happier discoveries in life. Indeed God has blessed us through the financial gifts of others to us. We have learned the reality of this text from God’s Word and we have also learned it as seeing it lived out in the lives of some very generous givers. It is likely that we have just begun to scratch the surface. As we give, in fact the more we give, the joy has been multiplied over and over . . . and over again. Yes, we have discovered the truth of Jesus’ Words. Have you discovered this text in your own life? As you do, you will revel in the truth of the words of Jesus.
Guest Post Written By Lareau Lindquist
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.