Proverbs 11:24 “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.”
Have you ever noticed how many of the statements that are made in the Bible are 180 degrees removed from the way we normally and naturally think about things? One such example appears in the verse above. It tells us that it is possible to become richer by freely giving away the things we possess. Conversely, it also tells us that those who don’t give like this often find themselves poorer than if they would have given. How can this be? How in the world can you give and get more but keep and have less? It doesn’t add up. It seems ludicrous to the natural man. But the natural man has been so deeply affected by sin that he can’t see things in the way they really are. Though he thinks he knows so much, he knows very little when it comes to Truth.
You see, we all live in a world that has been tainted to its core by the curse of sin, and we live in bodies that have likewise been so tainted. The Bible, however, speaks to us from the perspective of heaven, a place where there is no sin. In heaven there are no lies. There is wisdom there. It’s a place where the one Who always was and always will be dwells. He’s the infinite One who is omniscient, omnipresent, and eternal. By contrast, everything else that exists is greatly limited in time, space, strength, knowledge, and every other aspect of its existence. God puts it this way to help us understand the problem we all face: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25).” Furthermore, He has told us that “the wisdom of this world is folly with God (1 Corinthians 3:19).”
What an awesome thing God has given us in the pages of His Word. Jesus put it this way, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given (Matthew 13:11).” Then He tells us that “For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away (Matthew 13:12).” Here the Lord is drawing a great contrast between those who know Him as their Lord and Savior and those who don’t. Those who know Him have been given a great gift. They are “the haves” from a heavenly perspective, in that they have Jesus as their Lord, eternal life as His most precious gift, and a relationship with Him in which their ears are open to what He says with the faith to believe and act upon it. As a result, they will live a life of blessing. They are the ones who obey Him, no matter how preposterous His claims may seem to the natural man. As a result, more and more are given to them as they walk with Him. Because He owns everything and controls everything, He works to sovereignly bless those who believe Him although they give their possessions freely to others as do those described in Proverbs 11 above. Although they may give their entire lives, they will lose nothing. As Jesus said, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 1:25).” However, the one who “has not” (although he might be one of those that are seen as the “haves” by this world) is the one who, in their hoarding for themselves, are certain to lose it all in the end.
May God give us the wisdom to listen to what He says as He speaks to us from an eternal, righteous, and entirely truthful perspective, for that’s the way things really are. And may we likewise have the wisdom to turn away from the “wisdom” of this world, a wisdom that, in truth, is nothing more than foolishness because it is all so tarnished by sin.