Proverbs 11:24 NKJV
“There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.”
So many of the Proverbs draw from the agricultural examples of that day.
This particular Proverb is making an observation from the life of a farmer, who scatters seeds liberally in various places – in the hopes of reaping a generous crop. For each crop, he must make decisions regarding what to plant, where, and when as well as how much to grow. Clearly for farmers, also like many of us in the business world, there is an element of risk.
As a family and church we saw this first-hand, when a couple, a farmer friend of ours, invited us over to their farm.
In consideration of knowing that Australia had been in a severe seven-year drought, many farmers around the country were driven into bankruptcy and the dire situation had led to the rise of suicide rates.
Now, this couple is pretty technically savvy. They follow the long-range weather trends and patterns. In the past, they went through tough times when there was nothing good on the horizon. Things did not look great, except for a spattering of rain here and there. Keeping their eyes fixed on Jesus, they prayed together and asked God about what they should do. They felt God saying to them, “It’s time to sow your seed.”
So, they picked a crop to suit the forecasted rain pattern and sowed its seed. There were two sets of rain: the first rain caused the crop to sprout and the second rain brought the crop to maturity and harvest.
On the long drive there, we noticed that field after field, property after property, the area was just empty of crops.
However, when we came to our friends’ property, in every direction there were these lush, beautiful crops as far as the eye could see. They sold their bountiful crop for a ridiculous amount of money and in one year, they paid off the debt that they had amassed over the seven previous years of drought. Best of all, they still had money left over!
When their neighbors saw what had happened, they asked them about how they knew what to plant – to which our friends replied to them that they had prayed, and God had spoken into their hearts to sow their chosen seed.
Six Things to do When Finance is Less but Opportunities are More:
This is the absolute opposite of what you would think to do, but this is like the farming principle in the Proverb. Every time a farmer sows any seed, there is a chance of gain or loss. It is risky.
All of the good things that you usually do – keep doing them. Things like:
- Being generous,
- Journaling to hear the voice of God,
iii. Praying simple and heartfelt prayers to God,
- Worshipping God,
- Encouraging people, and
- Forgiving and letting go of hurts.
Take heart, as these things are the seeds that lead to an expansive life!
This is extremely important, especially during this time when people are feeling confused and uncertain about the future. Lead by example. Even if you have some struggles going on, you can be totally honest about that. Still, as aforementioned, keep doing all of the good things that God has taught you to do and be happy and content with His goodness. People around you will want what you have and consequently they will follow your example as they see God leading you in a difficult season.
“If you think you’re leading, but no one is following you, then you’re just taking a walk.” – John C. Maxwell
If you are a leader, do not get caught “just taking a walk” all by yourself.
3.See the Opportunities
Look for strategies that are:
- Low in cost,
- High impact, and
4.Spend on the Right Things
This could mean that as you spend less, you get to save more. Ask yourself, “Am I aware of the cost?” Do you know your household, business, or department budget? Keep track and calculate the overall cost so that you can budget and manage well.
5.Train Passionate People
Ask yourself, “Am I training passionate people?” The amazing fact is that they are all around us! If you cannot see them, pray and ask God to show you the right people to train. Training is fairly low in cost but it reaps wonderful rewards for everyone. It is fulfilling, hence try it today!
6.Give Others the Win
If you have been successful in an area, pass the win onto others around you. We are now sharing the knowledge, experience, and expertise that we have learned during this pandemic with others on our own campuses and friends from other churches. It is such a joy to help people to dream, pray, and seek God more. There is no need to complain, so instead prepare and see what you can do with what God has given unto you.
In a nutshell, the lesson that we learned from this Proverb and the story of our farmer friends is to never stop seeking God and sowing your seed!
Let us look at the Proverb again but from the Message Bible this time:
Proverbs 11:24 MSG
“The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.”
And here is one last quote to summarize that even more:
“Give up, to go up!” – John C. Maxwell