Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 19:6
"Many will seek the favor of a generous man, and every man is a friend to him who gives gifts"
This is an extension of the idea in verse 4 that friendship is built upon mutual benefit. What is the benefit that people gain from being your friend? Are you finding ways to be generous to people you meet? Do people feel that they gain more than they give in being your friend?
What gifts or benefits can you offer to other people? Have some of your friendships become stale because you no longer are generous or beneficial to be friends with?
The word translated generous is the Hebrew word nadiyb which means noble, liberal, princely, or wiling, generous, inclined. The idea of the word is that those who are of a generous spirit are a little different kind of people. They have the reputation of really helping people and so people ask them. This is what those who are not generous fear. They do not want lots of people approaching them for favors, loans, and help so they say no to everybody. Unfortunately, this fear keeps them boxed into a very small world.
The generous person does have to learn to say NO. And this is uncomfortable, but they also have the opportunity to say yes and to feel the wonderful spine-electrifying joy of saying yes. They get to see their contribution make a difference. They get to feel a level of satisfaction that is unknown to the hoarder. Let me challenge you to move in the direction of generosity. You may not have money to share; fine, then share time or give freely of your attention or your skills or knowledge. I have found that the more generous a person is by choice, the more joy and lasting impact they have.
Unfortunately, many people want to have a lasting impact and have people ask them for their wisdom but the people never come. The grandkids don't ask how to make wise decisions. The people at work aren't interested in your point of view or ideas on life. Usually, it is because they have not felt the impact of your generosity first.
One of the things that I would like to challenge you with is find a way to become generous. We want the results of this verse in our life. We want our children, grandchildren, friends, colleagues, and other Christians to seek us out for our knowledge, expertise, wisdom, and ideas. In order to get to that point, we must begin to be generous with what we do have to offer. Learn to say NO. Become a discerning person when a person is trying to scam you. Tell people what they need to hear not just what they want to hear. The only way to grow in this area is to become generous. Yes, you will be taken advantage of on occasion, but you will learn and you will become a better person for it.