A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
— Proverbs 11:25
Acts 20:35 notes that Jesus said, “It is better to give than to receive.” But why would he say this? Is it because being generous feels good? Is it because we feel appreciated when we give? Is it because “what goes around comes around”?
Proverbs 11:25 says that those who are generous will prosper. And what does it mean to “prosper”? We tend to think of prosperity in financial terms, but that would be quite limiting. In the Bible, prosperity has a lot to do with well-being and flourishing, enjoying the fullness of life as God intends for us.
Reading the second half of this verse is essential: “Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” This is less about material gain than about soul care. It brings to mind Psalm 23, in which the Lord as our shepherd leads us “beside still waters” and restores or refreshes our soul.
Our souls are refreshed through generosity because when we seek the prosperity, health, and wellness of others, we ourselves are refreshed by Jesus in the process. He blesses us with humility, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, and more. We become more like him who emptied himself for our sake.
We give not so that we can get something in return. We give so that we can draw nearer to the heart of Christ.
Generous God, you have shown us the perfect example of self-giving love and humility in Jesus. May we become more like him and find refreshment for our souls. Amen.