We’ve already touched on Proverbs 11, but I wanted to take a closer look at a few of those verses one more time.
This passage is about the joy that comes from giving. How when people give, it leads to blessing not only for the person who receives the gift, but for the giver as well. Solomon writes in verse 24,
One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. (24)
One thing that God has called us to be is a pipeline of his grace. As he gives to us, we are to give to others. And as we give, God blesses us all the more so that we can give even more. Paul put it this way,
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work…
You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9:8, 11)
If however, we withhold what we have unduly, we clog up the pipeline of grace. Not only do we fail to bless people when we do so, but God is unable to pour any more into our pipeline because it becomes becomes all clogged up and nothing else can pass through.
On the other hand, Solomon notes,
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. (25)
As we give, and become this pipeline of grace, we ourselves will be refreshed. Nowadays we hear about doing random acts of kindness. I have heard recently, however, of a person who does planned acts of kindness. He purposefully thinks of ways to bless the people that he meets, even the stranger on the road. And he’s finding that as he does that, it makes him feel refreshed. He finds great joy in sensing the love of Christ flow through him and touch others.
How much joy do we lose out on in our lives by being stingy, and thinking only of ourselves? How much joy would we gain by being an active pipeline of God’s grace?
Solomon also points out,
People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell. (26)
How often do we destroy our witness by clogging up the pipeline of grace? Instead of seeing Christ in us, and his love flowing through us, they see only a selfish person whose concerned solely about himself.
How about you? When others encounter you, do they encounter Christ in you?
Solomon says in verse 30,
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.
When people encounter us, they should encounter life. And they encounter life when God’s love flows through us. It is this love that draws them not only to us, but to the God who lives in us.
Solomon says a winner of souls is wise. But you can only be a winner of souls if God’s love and grace is flowing in you and through you.
I’ve got to admit…too many times I’ve clogged up that pipeline. And it’s something that needs to change. How about you? Are you being a pipeline of God’s love and grace?
Father, forgive me for clogging up the pipeline of grace. Too often, I’m thinking only of myself. Forgive me. Give me your heart and change me. Give me the attitude Jesus had when he encountered people here on earth. And let me be your pipeline of love and grace to the people around me. In Jesus name, amen.