Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. – Prov. 11:28 NIV
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Today’s Devotional is the second part of the Devotional with the same title where the individual who desires to enjoy prosperity was advised to be generous. This is because the one who intends to be generous will actually have positive thoughts and generate positive aura that will equally attract positive occurrences and events, just as such an individual will also enjoy the advantage of being constantly prayed for by the beneficiaries of the act of generosity. Also worthy of note is the fact that the one who is generous is actually refreshing others and such can also expect nourishment in his/her area of lack after all, no human being can claim to be all sufficient – Prov. 11:24-27.
Everyone can actually be generous as all have something to be generous with and it will be hypocritical for anyone to give an impression contrary to that. The wise king makes it clear that anyone who desires to prosper must seek the opportunity, not just to give, but to give freely. So the one that his giving must not have any thought beyond a strong desire to refresh another as anything otherwise may nullify the goodness that is supposed to be associated with such acts. It should always be remembered that the one who rewards this goodness is able to see through the thoughts of men and He rewards only those who give unconditionally – Matt. 6:1-6.
Though those who decide not to give may provide several reasons for not wanting to do so, but the bottom line remains that they either believe that they are self-sufficient and lack nothing, or even where they acknowledge some lack, may have concluded that they will never need the help of others to make up for that lack. Even where help will be required, the source will not be from the one to whom they need to extend a generous act to.
The wise king in today’s Devotional says they have such attitude to the act of generosity because they probably have so much trust in what they possess. They trust that with what they possess, they will never need the help of anyone, so why invest in any act of generosity. Yes! Invest, because that actually is what generosity is, as all of such acts will be harvested and none ever goes unrewarded. The wise king says such people will fall, unlike the righteous person who will thrive like a green leaf.
To put trust in something is to have a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of that thing which may be human or inhuman. The wise king says those who trust in wealth have total belief that wealth they possess is sufficiently real, strong and can be totally relied upon to take care of every challenge in their lives. No wonder such people are quick to cite the portion of the scripture that says “money answereth all things” – Eccl. 10:19. There is no doubt about the correctness of the above scripture except that it is a properly deployed money or wealth that it is capable of answering all things. It will definitely open doors if it is properly deployed but will also close doors firmly if not used properly.
The rich man in the biblical story that Jesus told his disciples, lived a life that he thought was right until he died only to realise that his money did not help him to get into the bossom of Abraham – Lk. 16:19-31. King Nebuchadnezzar looked down from the tower of his palace and wondered how the prophecy that he was going to crawl like an animal was ever going to come to pass considering the extent of his wealth but that same wealth did not save him from living the life of an animal in the bush for seven years, neither was it responsible for his return to his throne as king as all he had to do was to repent whilst in his humiliated state and he was restored – Dan. 4:1-37. Money over the ages has not succeeded in answering the question of death as there is yet to be anyone that has succeeded in bribing death when it showed up at its scheduled time to perform its task. The wealth of the rich man in the bible who gathered all his harvest into his barn, with the belief that all he had to do was to relax and enjoy them could not save him from the death that visited him that same night, because of his foolish thinking that money answers all things – Lk. 12:16-20.
This however does not underrate the importance of wealth because, when properly deployed, it can indeed be answer to the many challenges of man. The wise servant quickly deployed wealth that saved him from the wrath of his master (Matt. 24:42-51), just as the generosity of the rich official earned him the Grace to have his daughter restored to life (Lk. 7:1-5). Tabitha also called Dorcas was restored to life by Peter because of her generosity towards good cause – Acts 9:36-42. Only the one that sees wealth as a means to an end and not an end can enjoy the massive advantage inherent in having wealth but the one who sees wealth as an end in itself or deploys it wrongly would only end up in destruction.
One of the ways to use wealth as a tool to achieve true greatness according to the wise king is to invest it wisely for generous cause. Generous in the sense that it is used to achieve a cause that meets the intention of Jehovah either in relation to someone or something. Of course, Jehovah who is able to see this act of generosity done with the best of intentions will not fail to reward it in multiples. Only the one who operates in righteousness can do such and that is the one that the wise king, in today’s foundation scripture, says will thrive like a green leaf.
You too can thrive in a similar manner not just in this realm, but in the life after life if only you can learn to be generous. Your wealth may not be money as it may just be your physical strength or ability to care but there are definitely several people including those who are financially rich, whose survival depend on this non-monetary wealth that you possess and would remain eternally grateful to God and you if you deploy that your wealth generously towards them. Do that today and you will not only have wealth in this realm but in the life after life (Matt. 6:19-21). May God teach us to be generous with the wealth he has given us in Jesus name. Amen.