Weekly Sabbath Survey
Those Who Scatter — 1-10-2015
There are those that scatter, and yet increase; and there are those that withhold
more than is good, but it leads them to poverty. Proverbs 11:24
This verse brings to mind the hand of blessing, or Open Hand. In order to give something away, we have to let go of it. The hand that grasps/clasps is closed. It not only cannot give, it cannot RECEIVE. That’s why this proverb makes sense. The more we gather money and things, the less we have. There is a flow in this giving thing. Stop the flow, we put ourself in the position of unable to GET. To get more, give more.
The Hebrew word for “scatter” in this verse means ‘to disperse abroad.’ It implies a giving style that is generous over a large area, as a farmer would scatter seed corn over a large field. He walks down the rows with a full sack over his shoulder and sprinkles the corn kernels into the rows by hand
I have taught and spoken quite a few times about generosity among Believers. We have the reputation of being the worst tippers in our American society. Nothing worse than a big table of Christians, except a table of Christian women! (Women are known as very poor tippers.) I’ve read the stories of Christians that leave a tract and NO tip at all. Your sweating wait person cannot feed her children or pay rent with a Christian message. If she was disposed to read it, she might not get a very accurate picture of what a Christian and their God really is. Stingy is not a Godly attribute!
When I read these facts on tipping years ago, I determined that I would be the kindest patron and most careful and generous tipper I could be. So if the wait person noticed my gold cross hanging around my neck or saw my 40 pound Bible I carried with me, they wouldn’t think I was a hypocrite, or worse that Christians were a bunch of selfish religious fanatics, running around saying “Praise the Lord” and then behaving like misers. My theory is only those who have money to tip generously should eat out. If you can’t afford the tip, then stay home to eat, or go to a fast food takeout window. .
It is a truth that the more we hold on to what we have, fearing someone might get it away from us, the lesser the blessing we receive. This falls into the law of sowing and reaping — also a reference to gardening or farming. The more seeds you plant, the wider the area you throw them around in, the bigger the harvest you will bring in. It is multiplication by subtraction and it doesn’t make a bit of sense. But, if you have two five dollar bills and you give one to someone in need, the Lord will bless you back with material possessions, cash money and/or even spiritual blessings like a healing or your kids coming to visit you! You can’t put a price on some of the things God does for people who are givers.
My American Indian grandparents are a case in point. My Dutch grandmother could read and write well, my Indian granddaddy not as well. He refused to stay in a nice Boarding School for Indian boys. He was the youngest and not allowed to be with his brothers, who were bigger boys. He ran away numerous times, first at the age of five, walking/running about 15 miles to get home to his Daddy’s cattle ranch. Finally, they let him stay home. Together my grandparents made a living starting out on the American frontier. Life was like a western movie, but it was real. No running water, heating/cooking with a wood stove. For other comforts, an outhouse. Their little farm house was built by my granddaddy and his brothers. The first two babies (my Daddy and his older sister) were born in that house there in the Chickasaw Nation. Eventually, in Texas, my grandparents owned their own small business. They retired debt-free to a mountain cabin the whole family helped build on weekends. Even the youngest grandson (about 7 years old) helped paint the front porch. Retirement money was meager Social Security, but they always had plenty. Out of their garden, my grandmother canned what they didn’t eat, “put up” for the winter months. They traveled often, even to California and way down to Del Rio to visit relatives.
Here is the secret to their success: no matter who it was, friend or relation, that stopped by to see them in their little New Mexico cabin, on the way from there to there, they opened their door and their hearts. They always offered a meal, and a bed. My granddaddy often spoke of being “stingy” and how terrible it was. The Chickasaw culture was very hospitable. Generosity is a Biblical virtue that brings blessing and abundance in return as the Lord blesses those who bless others, even “the least of these.”
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
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