Have you ever known people who complained incessantly about how they never had enough money, yet were so tight with everything they owned that they squeaked when they walked?
Maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but really, there are people who are so tight fisted with their money they seem to squeak every time they consider parting with a dime.
Squeak long enough and something will wear out.
“There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.” (Proverbs 11:24 – 11:25 NKJV)
Squeakers need oil.
Generosity is the way to make sure everything stays oiled, and in great operating condition.
An example of this is found in the story of the widow woman, her son, and the prophet Elijah.
“Then the Lord said to Elijah, ‘Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.’ So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, ‘Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?’ As she was going to get it, he called to her, ‘Bring me a bite of bread, too.’ But she said, ‘I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.’
“But Elijah said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again.”” (1 Kings 17:8 – 17:14 NLT)
The woman, I’ll call her Gertrude, faced a real dilemma. She could keep what she had, enjoy her last meal with her son, and then die, OR she could trust the man of God and give of what she had.
By the way, the prophet wasn’t being greedy or selfish. Neither is God when He tells you to give when you don’t believe you have the resources.
As for Gertrude, did she REALLY believe she would have only one more meal before she died?
It DOES, however, seem like doomsday when we’re down to our last penny, and our savings account is all but gone.
So Gertrude had a decision to make, just like you and I do sometimes. Would she hold onto the sure thing, or generously give her situation into God’s hand.
Note: A closed fist will neither give out nor receive from others. Though it may be risky, we need to loosen our grip and trust God.
And that’s exactly what Gertrude did.
“So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.” (1 Kings 17:15 – 17:16 NLT)
Stinginess reveals at least two things about one’s heart.
1. Their faith is in money
2. Their faith is NOT in God
But God CAN be trusted. His word is true, and its principles are unchanging.
One of the greatest truths we must understand is demonstrated, worldwide, day in and day out: “The Law of Seedtime and Harvest”.
Or, whatever a person sows, that shall they reap.
They will always reap MORE than they’ve sown.
Their seed is multiplied. But if little is sown, there just isn’t much to work with. Lack becomes MUCH lack.
However much a person sows determines how much they’ll reap.
Much sown, then MUCH MUCH will be returned; somehow, some way, at some time.
“Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’ And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (2 Corinthians 9:6 – 9:8 NLT)
“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full – pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” (Luke 6:38 NLT)
Jesus wasn’t referring to a specific dollar amount when He said, “The amount you give…”
Rather, He meant, “Squeeze out the bare minimum, and that’s what you’ll receive. Be generous, and experience the generosity of others, as well as of God.”
Remember: loosen your grip and trust God, not your bank account.
Life flows from our generous God and King. He wants that same life to flow through us, as we are generous with all we have.
Squeaks are rarely a pleasant sound.
Let’s make sure we’re well oiled, trusting our God to meet all our needs according to HIS riches in glory.
Just like He promised.
If you’d like to read more on this subject, please click on this link – http://tinyurl.com/htp76f8 (My book-“Breaking the Spirit of Poverty with the Spirit of Generosity”)