Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 11:24
"There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want"
This proverb is one of a string of proverbs that deals with wealth. Solomon comes at this topic from a number of different angles. But he wants his students to understand what they must do when they actually acquire wealth. Too many people focus their attention so much on the acquiring that they do not know what to do if they attain it, or they never think they have attained it because there is always more.
This is the Hebrew word pazar, which means to scatter. What is interesting here is that Solomon does not say what is scattered. He assumes that we will know what it is. The biggest clue is the two contrasting agents: more and want. One who scatters his wealth and one who hoards his wealth seem to be in view here.
This is the Hebrew word chasak, which means to withhold, refrain, to hold back.Solomon is saying that those who use their wealth generously will have more wealth. Those who are hoarders and misers will have less wealth.
This is the Hebrew word yosher, which means straightness, uprightness. In this case it is clear that there is a certain generosity or sharing of one's wealth that is required of those who have been able to acquire it. One cannot shut their heart to the cry of the poor and afflicted. There is a just obligation to scatter parts of one's wealth to charities and things which will seemingly have no personal benefit to you. This is not a sound financial investment, but it is a wise soul and community investment. It allows you to be freed in your soul from the grip of money, and it allows your community to care for those who are disadvantaged.
This is the Hebrew word machsor, which means a need, a poverty, a want. It doesn't say what the poverty is regarding. Solomon is saying that there are some people who do not recognize this community responsibility to share some portion of their wealth with others. They just want to hoard their money and make more. He says that this will create in this kind of person, want. Hoarding and not sharing one's accumulated wealth will not give you more but will create a hole in your soul and your life that will be incapable of being filled. This person may stuff all kinds of things and excessive practices into this hole, but it will not be filled up.
This is why those who are well adjusted with great wealth have a generous mindset and a service mindset. This is the only way to stay sane when the normal motive of feeding the family and getting by is taken away. One needs to have an internal driving motive that is not selfish. When the motive of feeding and caring for family is taken away, one needs to have other needs that drive one's daily life.
Do not just consume the wealth on yourself. Realize you have an obligation to share some portion of your wealth with others.
Do not develop a selfish focus on wealth as though that will solve all your problems. Selfish possession of money creates more problems.