Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,
but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.
We convince ourselves that the above proverb can’t be true. ‘We need to look after me first’, we say. We make this argument assuming that resources are finite. But God’s Word throws this logic back in our face. Those who lack nothing are not those who look after ‘number 1’ first. Those who actually lack nothing are those who are generous to others. Want to be in want of nothing, then, the answer is give.
I’m assuming that this proverb speaks more than just about our money. It seems it could be applied to being generous with our possessions, time, energy (emotional energy included) or even speaking about a generosity of heart. And I’m assuming that the poor are not those who are only financially poor, but are poor in other ways or even those who are under us or in our care.
For me this proverb, again, relates to my high expectations as well as my material wealth. The cure for me is to give, to be generous with my family and friends and those around me. I need to keep my eyes open to them.
The irony is that those who end up poor are those who are probably materially rich, but their poverty is in curses received. Those who may be materially less well off are the ones then who actually ‘lack nothing’ (assuming there situation is as a result of generosity).
So keep your eyes open (to the poor) and you won’t get hit (with curses).1
NB. I was watching a TED Talk the other day on giving and taking. Even secular research agrees with the Bible’s stance on generosity.
- By curses, I don’t see this as some sort of witchcraft, but the active judgment of God in our lives that is often imperceptible to us. ↩