Proverbs 11:24 is an interesting verse about generosity. It says, "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 in only want." Simply put, this verse reflects the truth of sowing and reaping that we see throughout Scripture. He who scatters will gather. He who gathers will reap little.
Life often tells us the opposite. There's an urge to hold on to what you have or you think you will lose it. Scattering is the idea of breaking something up and distributing it. It is an agricultural word picture of planting with a harvest in mind. The more you scatter, the more you gather. Elsewhere in Proverbs it says unless you see wealth as seed you can become an addict … an over-gatherer.
In talking about scattering, the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians Chapter 8 doesn't appeal to the will or emotions to encourage people to give to the poor. He goes after their hearts: "For you to know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…" He is saying that the ultimate scattering and gathering was Jesus Christ himself. "…that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich."
In other words, our Savior and Lord was broken on the cross. He was scattered, distributed. Why? To gather us. Jesus' gift of Himself was the ultimate picture of sacrificial giving. And His giving gained so much more. He gave up all the treasure he had because you and I were more valuable than all of it.
David Wills is President of National Christian Foundation in our Atlanta office. His passions are centered on generosity and eternity, and he therefore invests his time helping others "lay up treasure in heaven" (Matthew 6:20).