“Scatters Yet More” – doesn’t this phrase sound like a paradox and perhaps even foolishness? Are you wondering where this phrase comes from? Have you come across it before? In fact, we as believers are highly likely to think of it as foolishness as we are often trained and moulded by the ways of the world. We learn to ‘save’ for a rainy day and whatever we have ‘extra’ after meeting our needs and above and a bit of savings too, (if at all we have ‘extra’) we ‘give’. Often we tell others we can’t help them as our finances are ‘tight’ but have we ever compared our lifestyles with others around us and then honestly examined what is causing the ‘tight’ situation? Yes comfort is okay – but there is a fine line between consistent luxury and comfort. In our eyes, we would think saving is more and wise while scattering is less and foolishness.
But then again, what if we look at the pattern of nature? Come autumn, don’t the trees shed all their leaves giving us a colourful crispy carpet to enjoy? Yet, the next season it starts to bring out new leaves.. and by the following season, it is full. Birds find shelter and we find shade! It gave out and it got more. Likewise with fruit – many enjoy the fruit and then the seed ends up becoming a tree bearing more fruit for others to enjoy. The seed multiplies.
Well, the Bible does say the ways of the Lord seem foolish to men, right?! Yes, this phrase “scatters, yet increases more” is from the Scriptures. Did you know that?
There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty – Proverbs 11:24 (NKJV)
The NIV translates this verse as below:
One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty – Proverbs 11:24 (NIV)
Whoa… this is rather a challenge if you ask me! Withholding an amount is acceptable – obviously… However withholding more than what is right or unduly, leads to poverty. What a choice of wording! It’s kinda scary! It leads not to a limited lifestyle but to ‘poverty’.
On the other hand, in the same proverb, we are told that the one who scatters / gives freely, increases more / gains even more!! Wowwww!
When the hand ceases to scatter, the heart ceases to pray. – Irish Proverb
This Irish proverb has a lot of truth in it. When we withhold, we turn to the work of our own hands as our provision, we plan, we budget according to what we see. However, faith is in the unseen, trusting our Sovereign God. The heavens and the earth and all that is within them belongs to God. He can give in a split second. Kings and kingdoms are subject to Him, our Almighty God. And here we are, human beings filled with pride – that we have to take care of ourselves. When we do so, when our hands cease to scatter, there is no need to turn to God for our needs as we have it all under control. We really don’t need to pray as we are ‘all sufficient’. Far from having a childlike faith really!
However, as we scatter and give over and above, we turn to God for our every single need. Like an infant, we begin to lean on Him for our needs. We don’t rely on bank balances or savings plans or stocks or insurances… we rely on the eternal bank account of heaven… which doesn’t have any limitations… Where God takes us, He will provide as He sees fit.
Paul chides the one caught stealing and clearly states the purpose for working. In fact he first defines work as “doing something useful with his own hands” and for what reason? “That he may have something to share with those in need” (Ephesians 4:28).
- For what purpose do you work?
- Why do you think we have been placed on earth?
- How often are we able to look to the interests of others and genuinely evaluate our own ‘needs’?
- How do these two verses (Proverbs 11:24 and Ephesians 4:28) impact the way you have been thinking?
He loved to pronounce a curse– may it come on him; he found no pleasure in blessing– may it be far from him. – Psalm 109:17 (NIV)
- Are you a person who loves to pronounce a curse?
- How often do you find pleasure in blessing?
May each one of us become increasingly kingdom minded with God’s wisdom adhering to His ways that seem foolishness to the world! May each one of us increasingly let go of the ways that the world thinks is wise whereby it is foolishness to God!
May we receive the blessings He has for us, as we bless others – may it be financially, emotionally, time wise and of course spiritually.
Have a blessed day!