Beyond Bountiful

“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)

In all likelihood, nothing fits in a fist closed tight. A clenched hand, fingers turned inward with nails pressed into palm will never hold a thing, will never be on the receiving side. Miserly and meager come to mind.

If I view God as a hard taskmaster, I will be prone to measure carefully when asked to share. If I fail to recognize the Father as extravagant and gracious, I will protest and excuse myself from any generous pursuits. Such a response to God who charges to our aid with limitless resources and answers our cries from the storehouse of his love is decidedly shortsighted.

My mother told me once that there are two types of people populating planet earth: givers and takers. She challenged me to always be a giver and demonstrated by her lifestyle that this was her preference. At the business my parents owned in Kingston, Jamaica, a customer walked in one afternoon bearing needs and a very thin purse. She had shopped there before, and asked for a pass on paying for her merchandise this time. My mother obliged. Before turning away with her packages, the old woman turned and said, “May your bread basket never go empty and your storehouse never run dry.” She left behind the blessing as payment and promise.

In the years afterward, whenever my mom would open the pantry door or unlatch the freezer handle and look inside at the packed shelves, the old woman’s words invariably came to mind. “You just cannot out give the Lord,” my mother reminded me. King Solomon concurred. “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed” (Proverbs 19:17).

It’s a good idea to be in a position where God is looking for ways to reciprocate. When our hands are open wide, and we eagerly extend what we have to others, the Lord makes his point quite clear: whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Let the sowing begin; never let it stop.

Elizabeth A. Mitchell

Photo Credit:Paul Westell

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