Okay, who picked this verse? Because, if we do what the proverb tells us, we will gain weight. Not kidding. That’s what the Scripture says.
(Well. Not precisely what it says. But close enough to give this Big Girl pause!)
The women who chose this as their fave—Carol, Kathy, and Beth—will explain themselves shortly. Meanwhile, we’ll steer clear of our bathroom scales and dive in for some refreshing news.
A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
A generous person… Proverbs 11:25
This may strike fear in the hearts of our more conservative sisters, but the Hebrew word for “generous,” berakah, is also translated “liberal” (AMP). Oh!
Don’t panic. It’s not a political statement. Here, liberal refers to any generous soul who likes to “give freely” (ERV). Someone who “blesses others” (CJB), and looks for opportunities to do so with joy and abandon.
Carol picked this verse because, “My mom always taught me to have a servant’s heart, to be giving.” Jesus teaches us the same: “Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward” (Mark 9:41).
Hmm. So, when we bless others, we benefit too?
…will prosper; Proverbs 11:25
Those who are generous will be “rewarded” (CEV) and “enriched” (ESV), and will “profit” (ERV) from their giving. In fact, they will be “made rich” (NKJV).
As rich as buttermilk, apparently, because the Hebrew word, dashen, literally means, “to grow fat.” Horrors!
I’m not making this up. At least nine Bible translations very plainly state that when we bless others, we’ll be “made fat.”
True, fat isn’t always a bad word in Scripture. Like when “the lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows” (Genesis 41:20), which were “well-fed” (GW), decidedly more “healthy” (ERV), and beautifully “sleek” (NIV). In that context, being fat was a good thing.
It’s really about being abundantly blessed, about getting filled up. Jesus assures His followers, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap” (Luke 6:38).
So, should we give to others in order to get something? Not for a second.
We give because His love compels us to.
We give because we can. We give because He gave first.
Whenever God sees a generous soul who is full of mercy and empty of self, He makes certain the one “who gives much will have much” (NLV).
Kathy, who also chose this verse, wrote, “I find that when I pray for others, and reach out to help others, I am blessed. It truly is better to give than receive, for in giving we receive even more than we could have asked for.”
…whoever refreshes others… Proverbs 11:25
Refresh. Lovely word, especially in the summer. In Hebrew, ravah means “to be saturated” or “to drink one’s fill.” It can mean pouring water over people, or pouring water into them, if they’re dry, parched, dusty, or thirsty.
You might “give a cup of water” (CEV) to the painters working on your house, the teenager mowing your lawn, the UPS driver who needs a break from the heat. Or, you could “help others” (ERV) by donating to Water for Life, which digs and establishes wells around the world.
It doesn’t have to be liquid refreshment, of course. Anything that pleases God and “satisfies others” (CJB) is a good thing. Just get ready. When you refresh people, it will soon head back in your direction.
…will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
Love this photo. You can almost feel that cool water hitting her face. God promises those who water others “will receive a flood in return” (ISV). Since the Hebrew word, yara, is an archery term for shooting an arrow, that refreshment will be coming your way swiftly and…uh, pointedly.
God never misses His intended target. You can be certain you’ll be “helped” (GNT), “enriched” (HCSB) and “satisfied” (GW) when you pour yourself out for others.
I must confess, this translation made me smile: “he that inebriateth, shall be inebriated also himself” (DRA). Not sure I’d build a lesson around that one. But “anyone who renews others will be renewed” (NIRV)? That’ll preach.
If your soul is parched right now, the temptation is to focus on getting your own thirst quenched. What if instead you found a way to bless another person? Not a family member or your employer or a friend at church, but someone who can’t give back? That way, when your blessing boomerangs, you’ll know the true Source.
Beth likes this verse because, “It amazes me to be given stewardship here on earth of God’s extravagant and generous heart! To be able to represent Him and refresh those whose hearts or countenances have fallen.”
The greatest blessing isn’t something we can taste or touch or take to the bank. It’s whispered thanks, a squeezed hand, a heartfelt glance. It’s smiles, hugs, tears, laughter. It’s quiet joy.
Every blessing you receive from blessing others is a reminder of what God did through you and for you because He loves you.
Now it’s your turn
- Who might you refresh today, and how do you plan to do it?
Thanks for taking a moment to share under Post a Comment below. Your words and actions will no doubt refresh us all.
Meanwhile, the free Printable of Proverbs 11:25 is ready to download, and all our weekly Proverbs to date await you on Pinterest. Only 19 more verses to go in 2014!
And do forgive me for landing in your inbox on odd days. Between traveling and speaking and family needs, I’ve been playing catch-up all summer with our Proverbs study. Your patience, encouragement, and flexibility mean the world to me.
Your grateful sister, Liz
Liz, as for me, don’t ever feel you have to apologize for tardiness on posting; I’ll take your comments anytime you can forward. YOU refresh me with your insight and teachings!
Thanks, Nieta. One more post this Friday, and I’ll be all caught up! I can’t believe next week is September. How exactly did that happen?
I’ve been behind myself on keeping up with them…no need to apologize-we love your wisdom and insight!
A refreshing cup of water to this thirsty soul this morning. Thank you Liz .
I plan to be part of an outreach to our Iraqi brothers and sisters who are living through really tough days right now, and also to donate as part of ice bucket challenge that my husband and son participated in this past weekend
Thank you for all the encouragement I receive from your posts….am happy to see them anytime in my inbox :))
So appreciate knowing how God is leading you to “water others,” Linda!
Thank you for this post and for all the Proverbs ones…..I have been challenged and refreshed by each one. May God’s blessings continue to flow your way.
I’m learning right along with you, Theresa, and am grateful for every person who takes five minutes a week to join us!
Liz, I love this proverb. I took a hard look at myself a few months ago and realized how much I “took” from my wonderful husband, and how little I gave back! What an eye opener. Now, giving to him, even in small ways, has touched both of us. Sometimes in our zeal to help and be there for others, we forget the ones closest to us.
And never apologize for being “late” – any time you are in my in box is a great day! Pam
That is such a good word-an area where I have been convicted also!
I confess, I make the same mistake at our house, Pamela. Happy to take, not as quick to give. Thanks for the nudge…I needed it.
I was reading a book by Corrie Ten Boom this morning and she said that in her darkest times she would pray for anyone who came to mind, people she had met recently or even people from her childhood. She said this took her mind off her present circumstances and she was blessed. Another way to refresh our minds!
Yes, a beautiful way to refresh our minds and bless others, La Vonda. Thanks for sharing!
I’m going to invite a 16 year old to lunch w/ my kids who recently lost his Father.
Good on you, as my Kiwi friends say.
Today was the first day of school, and a group
of retired teachers provided lunch for the busy, sometimes harried teachers at the school where we taught. It was fun to see them “drink in” the refreshing that that lunch and encouragement provided. Blessed to have that opportunity!
Who better than people who really get what the first day of school is like for teachers? Blessings on your whole group, Gwen!
Thankful for wonderful group of Christian sisters who came and gave a Spa Day to our homeless ladies at Jefferson Street. We had a great scripture and prayer time too. God is so good.
Yes, He is, Cheryl. May He bless those sisters and the women you serve.
This morning I set a pretty table and baked a quiche and zucchini bread for brunch. My dear friend came and we talked for hours over warm mugs and simple, good food. We refreshed each other and how encouraged we felt!
I’ll be over tomorrow, Cathy! Always good to spend time with a friend.
Liz, you are here often around my table when you share what God has taught you. But the front door is always open to you should you land in Hanover, Pa. Love you, Sis!
I’m in Derry so if any of you are close… That’s Derry PA not Ireland, though I wish
Liz your emails are never early or late but always right on time. Its how God uses you and you speak when He directs you.
There are a father and son across the hall from me. I periodically make extra so they have dinner too. Today was homemade crab ravioli. The son wasn’t interested in “religion” when my family moved here. After a few months, he asked for a Bible. Now he waits on the porch for my husband to come home from work (3-11pm shift) just to ask questions. He was here til 2am more than once for Bible studies. Refreshing others can be more than physical and we try to do both.
What a beautiful story, Jaime, of how God works through willing hands. As I post this reply, I’m praying for that father and son, who clearly see Jesus in you and your husband.
Totally refreshed by your words and insight into these verses. Thank you, Liz
Honored to share, Brandi.
This grandma was actually blessed today. Got a phone call from my grandson who ask “what are you doing gram” my response was “what am I doing grandson” he proceeded to let me know he was at vo tech school and five students needed a ride back to their school. His first day of school, his senior year, and he went to vo tech school on the bus this morning but he and four other boys missed the bus to bring them back to their school for afternoon classes. So I traveled about 42 miles to get them and bring them back to their school for afternoon classes. On the way back he said he couldn’t call his mom or brother because they were at work and his dad would probably growl him but he knew his grandma would come for them, and would probably tell him her day was blessed just to spend some time with him. And he knows me so well because that’s exactly what I said as they were getting into car. He lives next door to me but never get enough time with grandkids or have enough cookies made for them. Such blessing they are. Great time in car just talking with all the boys, listening to them and encouraging them to have a blessed year at school. I’m one very blessed grandma! And yes that was after I had taken some homemade soup and cake to a couple in their 80’s who are going through some though times medically right now. So many little things we can do to greatly bless others. Love your encouraging words!
This is a beautiful picture of refreshing others!
Beautiful Liz! I was ‘refreshed’ by just reading this! 🙂 I pray I can encourage someone this week. That is how I see myself ‘refreshing’ someone.
Thanks for the encouraging teaching!
May He refresh you today!
I have two friends dealing with health issues and important events related to their health occur this week. I feel God’s calling to refresh them by being a listening ear, a kind face, and providing a gentle touch. That’s where I belong this week so I’m off to pray for guidance. Thanks Liz.
Liz, no apology needed… God has you send those when we need them! And that’s not always on the same day every week 😉 love you, sister!
Awe, I love your writing and the insight into individual words – the real meaning – I never, ever tire of it. I’ve got a ‘fun’ story to share. My godly daughter, at midnight, during a freezing storm offered to give a co-worker a lift home to save his mother driving out in the bad weather. She didn’t realise that he lived at the top of a steep, frozen hill, then a mile further from there. The car kept slipping down, and he’d knock at houses on each side for help, to no avail, while my daughter tried not to slide the car backwards down the hill. They just about made it to the top by scraping pure ice off the road with her eyebrow tweezers. Taking turns. Then, an Italian family arriving from Christmas in Italy saw their dilemma and 4 drop dead gorgeous handsome hunks came to their aid. My beautiful daughter was refreshed and then some – ha. Frozen to the bone but refreshed and praising the Lord. LOL. Blessings.
Liz, I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago, and I’ve really enjoyed reading! I love your down to earth communication of God’s WORD! (I love God’s word and getting it into our daily lives, just like you obviously do.)
So true that we tend to focus on ourselves, and refreshing others is an effective antidote.
I don’t know how or who, but it is my deep desire to be a blessing to everyone God puts in my path each day, so I will be listening and watching for Gods whispered urging in anyones life today and everyday. This is my prayer. thank’s for letting me share.
I love what Beth said, “It amazes me to be given stewardship here on earth of God’s extravagant and generous heart!” Me too Beth.
God bless 🙂
Oh, how I needed this one today. Your tardiness was a blessing to me!
I want to refresh a friend. My sister took great photos of birds. Ill email her a few and write her a note. It seems God puts it upon each other’s heart to encourage eachother at just the right time!
Como habrás notado, me he quedado leyendo hasta el último de los artículos que escribiste.
Espero que esto te sirva como motivación de que estás haciendo
un trabajo muy bueno. A nivel personal, soy amante de los
buenos textos y me gusta seguir a las personas que poseen las habilidades
de transmitir experiencias por medio de las palabras.
Por ello te dejo este comentario y para cerrar quisiera decirte que me ha encantado poder llegar a tu lugar.
En hora buena!
thanks, always appreciated regardless of your timing!