By Dan Beaty

There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.{Proverbs 11:24-25}

With all the concern over the environment today and the need to conserve our natural resources, waste is rightfully becoming something we all are learning to avoid. Good stewardship over the spiritual and natural provisions the Lord has made for us demands a responsible attitude in order to more efficiently manage these resources. To everything there is a season {Ecc. 3:1-11}, and today is definitely the time to learn to conserve, but carried to the extreme, this attitude becomes what I call a shortage mentality. I believe that a balance can be found as two seemingly opposing principles are in operation side by side.

The scriptures as a whole make it abundantly clear that the wasteful squandering of our time, our money, our abilities or any of the material blessings the Lord has given us is neither wise nor acceptable by His standards. In Luke chapter 15 the story is told of a wealthy young man who by this type of lifestyle eventually found himself in dire poverty and near starvation. On the other hand, there are numerous accounts of people whose generosity, even when they were extremely low themselves on the very basic necessities, lifted them into a place of true spiritual and natural abundance. They were scatterers.

A person who scatters while continuing to increase must know a secret. They apparently know and understand their source as well as where their giving is truly going. Consider the great rivers of the world, they all flow into the sea and yet the sea never overflows and the rivers never cease. The principle at work here is very natural and scientifically logical. They are all ONE. That is, oceans and rivers are all water, and water, whether it is on the ground in the form of a liquid as a river or lake, or in the heavens in the form of vapor as clouds - is still water. This miracle of water always returning to it's previous state is one of the great cycles in nature that make life on the planet earth possible. It is very similar to a great principle that is the foundation stone for many who know their Father the Creator of the universe, who has never stopped giving and has never exhausted His supplies.

Please understand before we go any further with this, that we are not merely talking about the giving of money, or material things alone. The great men and women of the Bible and all human history as well, prospered spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially because they gave of THEMSELVES - fully, liberally, and without reservation. Perhaps they realized that they were really giving to themselves. For according to the scriptures, we are all like that one great body of water that is found all over the planet in different forms and locations. "He that watereth shall also be watered himself." Why is that? Because when you bless someone else you are really blessing yourself!

Oneness goes even farther than the human race, for the whole family of heaven and earth is named from God their Father {Eph. 3:14-15}. We are all part of Him and He is our unending source. Everything comes from Him and everything returns unto Him. He is like that great river that continues to flow and empty itself into the ocean while never running dry. {Romans 11:36} Jesus demonstrated this dimension of living and expressed that it was also for everyone. "He that believes in me shall possess RIVERS OF LIVING WATER flowing out from his innermost being," He told them. {John 7:38} And He also often referred to His Father as OUR FATHER, emphasizing that we all came forth from God. By revealing unto us our true identity He showed us the way to ABUNDANT LIVING. Observe His example. He never owned anything to speak of, but He never lacked what was needed at the moment. He knew who His Father was and that by inheritance the UNIVERSE WAS HIS!

Being in harmony with the Father, Jesus was also in harmony with Creation. The winds and the waves obeyed Him. The fish would bring Him gold from the ocean's bottom to pay His taxes. He could never fear the loss of anything because HE WAS EVERYTHING! People who feel inadequate in themselves become afraid to give for fear of losing what little they have. But when you are at peace with the Lord and His universe you know that every contribution you make to benefit the world around you only enriches you. It is a true saying that it is better to give than to receive, for you are expanded and become part of a greater whole when you share of yourself. But what ever you withhold you lose.

Another wonderful cycle in nature is the miracle of sowing and harvesting. When the farmer returns the seed to the ground from which it came, the seed responds by returning fruits, vegetables, or grain back unto him. But if nothing is sown, nothing can grow. This is a perfect example of the principle of scattering. Our Father, the Great Husbandman or Farmer is encouraging us today to begin to be scatterers of good seed. Let us begin to cast forth in every direction that which we possess - the seeds of kindness, patience, love and compassion. Truth, conviction, honesty, and faithfulness are within us all as maybe only tiny seeds. But as they are scattered forth into the earth and begin to take root in the hearts of those around us, they begin to increase and multiply one hundred fold!

Let others continue to expound on the darkness and the hopelessness that surrounds them. Let them go on withholding in fear while spiritual and moral poverty abounds. We have a secret - not a secret that will make us rich because we already are rich. This secret is one that will enrich anyone who is poor in spirit but will believe in it enough to practice it. It is the mystery of Christ Himself Who is alive within us. Through our trust in Him we are liberated to turn and convince others that they too can be free. As patient farmers we will in due time see the fruit of our labors in real, tangible form. But the real reward comes immediately for those who understand the truth that Jesus taught. The REAL blessing is in the GIVING.

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