One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:23-24)
An “Under-the-Radar” Fruit of the Holy Spirit
The news has been filled with stories of empty shelves and panic purchases; people’s reaction to shortages has been anything but exemplar. Many people, when they hear that things are running out, they complicate the situation by running out to get the product, even if they do not need it. It seems that in some cases, Covid-19 has brought out the worst of people.
On the contrary, we are told that the person with godly character has a quiet confidence that God rewards those who follow His paths. God sees all of the things which go unseen by others, and His promise is that by refreshing others that we will receive His provision. He calls us to a higher standard; one that goes beyond doing acts of charity, moving toward revealing His character to a world that desperately needs to see the goodness of God in tangible ways.
I Peter 4:8-11 speaks of stewardship of the gifts of a transformed life; a Spirit-filled person who acts with Christ-like character:
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.
How does this work out in our trip(s) to the supermarket? Instead of stocking up, maybe it means that we check to see if an elderly neighbor could use something. Instead of grabbing the last three packages of ground beef, maybe we take only one. It means we put the needs of others first and trust God for His timely provision, knowing that He rewards those who model His generosity.