24 There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.Proverbs 11:24-26
25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
26 He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.
We are familiar with the law of sowing and reaping as taught in the New Testament. But here it is in Proverbs as well.
All three of these verses are talking about being generous. The result of being generous is to reap a harvest of generosity. Obviously, a person can be so open with his giving (money, time, energy, etc.) that it becomes unhealthy, but that is not usually our tendency.
Verse 24 says that scattering leads to increase. Yet holding back on your generosity can lead to poverty.
The word liberal in verse 25 is most often translated as blessing. The one who blesses others will be made fat. In our American culture people don’t think this way, but much of the world associates fatness with health and prosperity. That is the idea of the word fat here: to become prosperous.
Finally, verse 26 says that withholding what is needful for others causes them to curse you. That word curse is much stronger than just saying bad words about you. It can also be translated as to pierce or to perforate. Hoarding that which is necessary for others puts you on the wrong side of sowing and reaping.
As you think about your interaction with others, consider where you might be more generous so that you can share the love of God with those around you.
[As a side note, I strongly debated calling this post “Fat Liberals” in jest, but I was afraid it would have been taken as a political statement more than just a joke. So, I didn’t that one. I could not resist at least mentioning it. Runner up title was, “Are You a Fat Liberal?”]