Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 22:9
"He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor."
The word translated generous is actually the Hebrew word tob which is the word good, good things. It has been most likely translated generous because of the second half of this proverb about sharing some of his food with the poor. Giving to the poor is a part of being good. Being a good person means doing real benefit to those around you. One of the reasons one should develop a surplus of goods is so that they can share that abundance with others.
This is the Hebrew word barak which means to be blessed, praised, saluted. To be a blessed person means that a person has been given power to be successful, prosperous, longevity, etc.
What too many people do is take their skill that will earn money for them and think that it has been given to them to heap up treasures only for themselves. It has not!!! You are to share the abundance which God has given you the ability to make. It flows out from you in a pattern of priority love. It flows to those who are the highest values in your life and eventually to those who have little or no connection to you personally. The greater the surplus, the further out the flow goes and the great amount reaches the furthest out.
What is clear from this proverb is that one who is good is one who shares and is not selfish. One who wants to be blessed in the depth of their being is one who becomes generous with others.
This is an interesting word for the poor. It is the Hebrew word dal which does not suggest destitute but rather a person who has a lack of something. Some have suggested that this referred to one of the lower classes of Israelites who were missing a basic provision.
The good person does not say that this is their business and they should work harder or they should get more education. The good person seeks to fill up the lack so that their lives can be whole materially. In fact, it is the sharing that completes the good person just as the provision completes the poorer person.
We must again instill in our culture the basic idea of generosity and sharing. If people believe that their wealth or surplus is theirs to do with as they please, then our society will not hold together and will become a divided place unsafe for most to dwell in.
When was the last time that you shared some of your abundance with those who had a clear lack?