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.
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