“A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
There’s a lot of emphasis in modern culture on self-care. We talk so much about how to love ourselves better or take care of ourselves more. I’m not here to say that any of that is necessarily bad advice, but I will say that if we spend too much time focusing on ourselves, we forget that God calls us to think about others first.
This proverb is a perfect illustration of God’s take on self-care. When we are selfless in obedience to God, he builds us up. In this proverb it says that those who are generous will prosper and that those who refresh others will be refreshed. This isn’t an argument for the so-called prosperity gospel that claims that following Jesus will make you happy, healthy, and wealthy on this earth. Often, that’s not the case at all. However, it is true that God will prosper those who are truly generous. That’s not to say that it will be in the form of financial riches or material possessions. However, it is often the case that the definition of prosperity to a generous person would be much different than others.
Those who are generous can likely attribute their generosity to their gratitude. Grateful people return the favors they’ve been given. Unappreciative or entitled people cling to their wealth tightly. The harder they cling to their wealth, the more they want, the less they feel like they have, and the less prosperous they think they are. Greed is a bottomless pit.
The opposite is true of generosity. Generosity is a spring of renewal. It’s a cycle. You might even say it’s contagious. Sure, it means you have less for yourself, but you take joy knowing you’ve given someone else more than they had before. You’ve refreshed, re-energized, or given hope to a neighbor, and that’s the best self-care I can think of.
God will take care of you if you entrust everything to him. After all, he gave everything to you in the first place. It’s not yours in the end, it’s all his. Offer it up to him and let him use you for his kingdom. Now that is prosperity that will last.
Help me to be generous. Help me not to cling to the things of this world that tempt me to be greedy, but instead to give freely of every gift that you’ve given me. Let me focus on refreshing others rather than myself, and help me to trust that you will take care of me and refresh me through it all.
In Jesus’ Name,