There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.
No business school in America is advanced enough to teach this law of economics. Not Harvard. Not Stanford. Not the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. This proverb is a financial secret from the God of heaven for His people. Giving away financial assets will increase your net worth, while holding back money leads to poverty.
If you want a wealth-building secret from God and King Solomon, here it is. Throwing money to noble and righteous causes will bring financial prosperity, but restraining your giving will take you down. Here is advice, not to invest money, but to give it away. That is right; you read it correctly; give your money away to get ahead financially.
This proverb is not a sound bite for a desperate charity or greedy televangelist. It is an axiom of wisdom from the wisest and richest King that ever lived. He taught elsewhere to cast your bread upon the waters by giving it away, for it will come back to you sometime in the future by God’s blessings (Eccl 11:1-6; II Cor 9:8-11; Phil 4:17-19).
Solomon compared two men in this proverb. The one man scatters his money by giving it to godly causes, and he increases in financial prosperity. Though he is giving money away, his accounts keep growing. The other man hoards and protects his assets by not giving when he should or as much as he should, and he gets poorer and poorer.
Fools scorn God’s wisdom. The nation’s best MBA’s laugh at such preposterous ideas. How can you give away funds and increase assets? Their minds are limited to the math taught by their earthly teachers. Remember, these ignorant MBA’s also think the solar system is from a big bang of cosmic gases and their mothers were baboons! They cannot even imagine there is a whole universe of higher laws they know nothing about!
They think 10 – 1 = 9, when 10 – 1 = 900! Learn God’s math! Isaac, from a family that gave away a tenth by divine tradition, had an annual return of 10,000% on his portfolio (Gen 26:12). When did these educated fools with thick economic textbooks ever get an annual return like that? They work crazily to match the S&P500, which can be obtained by throwing darts at the financial page of the newspaper or buying an index fund.
Abraham, Isaac’s father, gave away a tenth of everything to God’s priest after a great victory (Gen 14:20). He was very rich, in spite of moving six hundred miles from home, without a strategic plan, to a strange land, where he did not know anyone or anything (Gen 13:2,6). But he increased by the blessing of God for honoring God with a tithe.
Jacob, Isaac’s son, moved to a new country with only a staff in his hand, but in 20 years he was so rich he could only travel in two companies (Gen 32:10). And this occurred in spite of discrimination against him by his employer (Gen 31:7,41). What was his secret for financial success? Give away 10% of all income (Gen 28:22). Give God the glory!
Fools think they have to look out for number one, meaning themselves, and only give to God a little of what is left. If nothing is left, then God gets nothing. Wise men also look out for number one, meaning God Himself. They give to God first, and live on whatever is left. The blessed God of heaven sees the different spirit and rewards them accordingly.
Fools reason, “I cannot afford to give. I have to protect my financial situation. I have bills coming up that I need to save for. When I am in a better financial situation, then I will give.” The God of heaven operates far above these ignorant and wicked ideas of financial safety. These men will surely be poor. They will never improve financially by violating this proverb. Just a little survey will show such men are often the poorest you know.
You cannot afford not to give! Your situation will go from bad to worse, if you continue to rob your Creator (Mal 3:8-11; Gal 6:7). It is better to live on 90% of income in the will of God than to miserly steal His 10% and live in rebellion. If you steal His 10%, He has the right and power to take His 10% and your 90%. You cannot afford not to give!
You can afford to give. If your salary were cut 10%, you would keep living with just a few changes. Some governments will split your giving with you by allowing you a tax deduction for it. It only costs the average American 6% to give 10%. You steal and lie, when you say you cannot afford to give. Humble yourself; choose wisdom, and increase.
A tithe is not the limit, for New Testament blessings surely deserve more than the beggarly 10% of the Old. Your spiritual and material blessings are greater than Israel ever dreamed. God has given you 100% of what you are and have, and heaven is waiting. Is 10% all you can muster? [When you look closer, the O.T. actually required 23 1/3%.]
Fools also reason, “Other men give because they have more to give. Their giving did not bring financial success, but they give because they are financially successful.” You are lying to yourself to protect your selfish and stingy soul. You are rejecting the infallible word of God to honor your greedy ignorance. You will never be a success. Going down?
Israel once thought it was financially wise to build their own houses first, but God blew against their efforts and put holes in the bags where they kept their wages (Hag 1:1-11). He guaranteed them great success, if they would put His cause first and mark their calendars (Hag 2:13-19). Do you have holes in your bags, reader? You cannot mock God; He will take you to poverty. Does God truly bless giving? Indeed He does (Pr 3:9-10)
How can the Lord increase a man who gives his money away? He can raise his income, lower his expenses, change tax laws, arrange gifts, grant favors, defer liabilities, extend the life of assets, preserve health and strength, open doors of opportunity, multiply efforts, provide bargains, give wisdom, attract customers, and many other things. Glory!
How far does this rule go? God dares you to try to outgive Him! He told Israel He would open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing they could not receive, if they would simply bring their tithes and offerings to Him (Mal 3:7-12). Give God the glory! He can give a good measure, press it down, shake it together, and pour it over the top (Luke 6:38). He dares you, reader. The God of heaven dares you to try to outgive Him.
There are two conditions for God’s rich blessings on giving – you must give generously, and you must give cheerfully (Pr 11:25; II Cor 9:6-7). If you are stingy, God will be stingy to you. If you are generous and liberal, He will be the same in dealings with you (Is 32:8). If you are not cheerful and excited about giving, it is all a waste – for God loves cheerful givers. Giving is an act of worship, and you should do it with joy (Deut 28:47).
If you are a child of God living in America, you have the greatest combination of blessings ever known by any persons in this world. And it is certainly not because Americans are better people. It is God’s pure mercy. How can you not be the most liberal giver of all time? You are in great debt to your Creator and Saviour for more than others.
R.G. LeTourneau (1888-1969), a Christian man with little education, was one of America’s greatest inventors with 300 patents in earthmoving and other heavy equipment. He and his plants produced 70% of the heavy earthmoving machines used by the Allies during World War II. His rule for success? He gave 90% of all income back to the Lord. His favorite verse? Matthew 6:33! His philosophy and experience about giving? “I shovel out the money, and God shovels it back to me – but God has a bigger shovel."
If you meet a poor person in true need and give to him, the Lord of heaven will repay you (Pr 19:17; Deut 15:10-11; Ps 41:1-2). But if you keep your money and assets to protect your financial situation, the Lord of heaven will curse you with many curses (Pr 28:27). The contrast here is rather severe, but are you wise enough to believe it and obey it?
Giving to the man of God, who teaches you the word of God, is not just a religious tradition or convenient suggestion; it is the ordinance of God (I Cor 9:1-14; Gal 6:6; I Tim 5:17). It ought to be a high pleasure to reward your servant and to please God. Since he is God’s ambassador, your treatment of him is a direct reflection of your love of God.
If you have family members in need, you have denied the Christian religion, if you do not support them financially (I Tim 5:4,8). If you are a grandparent or parent with children, you should be giving them an inheritance (Prov 13:22; II Cor 12:14). Are you holding back for yourself like the Pharisees in Jesus’ day (Mark 7:9-13)? You are going down!
Have you wished you could walk on water with Peter? Here is your opportunity. Peter had to step over the gunwale of his boat and down on the water by faith, and you get to scatter your money by faith. Go for it! Do not look at the waves. The promise of this proverb and the other verses included here are just as the Lord saying to Peter, “Come.”
Do you believe the Bible? Then do what the Bible says! Give away part of what you have. Do it. Show God and men your faith. Test the proverb. See if you increase. Let God be true, but every man a liar. The proverb is true. This rule of success is from heaven, and it has never failed. If this proverb is not really true, then the others are not true either.
The benefits of a golden parachute from heaven keep coming. Generous and cheerful giving provides a good foundation for your soul in the Day of Judgment (I Tim 6:17-19; Matt 10:42; 25:40; Luke 4:14; Heb 6:10). This is an incredible further benefit for giving that most Christians do not understand. What more do you need, reader, to learn to give?
Giving reflects God’s grace in your heart and draws you closer to Him. But no matter how far you progress in the grace of giving, Jesus Christ remains the unmatchable Giver. It was He who left the wealth of heaven to make the supreme sacrifice to deliver you from eternal poverty and grant you eternal riches (John 3:16; Rom 6:23; II Cor 8:9; 9:15).