THE LIBERAL SOUL
“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.” Proverbs 11:24, 25
Our text reminds us again that the Lord’s ways are not our ways. They are above our ways. Human reasoning says that the way to blessing is getting all that we can and not sharing it with others. God’s ways teach otherwise. He teaches us that it is possible to disperse generously and increase because of it. He also tells us that when a person hoards more than he needs, it will lead to poverty.
“The liberal soul” is the person who shares with others, distributes to those in need, and supports the work of God. He is habitually being a blessing to others, and in doing so, is assured of receiving a blessing. He is contrasted with the lean and unhealthy soul of the selfish. “The liberal soul shall be made fat.” The generous person will be abundantly blessed, whereas the stingy person will be in want. You cannot water others without being watered yourself.
At some point in our lives, we begin to decide which road we want to travel in life concerning this subject. Will we be givers or takers? Will we look for ways to be a blessing to others or always be looking for ways to benefit from others? Shall we be the servers or the served? If we listen to our natural minds and inclinations, we will choose the wrong road because the path to the greatest blessing is not in being helped, but in helping. Ask anyone who has experience in sharing and ministering to people. When we go and visit someone in jail or in the hospital, who receives the greater blessing? Is it not the one who is giving his concern and compassion? Selfish people are generally unhappy people. As a rule, the people who complain the most are the ones who do the least.
We should teach and model this to our children. Our children should see that their parents are happily serving and giving. Parents who allow their children to be selfish and self-centered are doing them a great injustice. Children need to be taught to give and to serve and be shown the danger of always thinking of “self.” The most fulfilled young people will be the ones who have made room in their schedules for helping others. If you want to be happy in life, learn to give yourself away.