The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
What is a liberal soul? Based on the context, it seems to mean a soul that has a giving nature. Water might indicate blessing, so we could also say that a person who generously blesses others will be blessed themselves.
This is a similar idea to what we read in the previous proverb. The more we give, the more we gain. It’s generally true that what we invest in others will return to us.
However, my personal experience has jaded me quite a bit. It seems that there are many people in this world who only want to take and it also seems that most people do not value the right things.
People will “bless” you if you “bless” them in the things of this world. If you add to their social appearances, finances, their egos, or if you’re generally entertaining because you spend your time in the same worldly pursuits, then there is no end to your usefulness and people generally will give back the same.
What about things that seem mundane, like righteousness and what it means to live a Christian life? What about understanding the teachings of Jesus? What about knowing how we can endure suffering with patience? What about knowing how we can maintain ourselves despite living in a corrupt world? Does anyone care for that?
People don’t seem to want to be watered. They want to be intoxicated.
They want to be around people who will make them feel proud and better than others. They want to gossip and tear down. They want to pursue riches and popularity. They want to have a good time and not be bothered by the standards that Christ has put on our lives.
Sometimes we give things that are truly good and of God, even if no one wants them. Sometimes we give things that are truly good and of God knowing that people are going to take advantage and use the good for their own purposes. Sometimes we give things that are truly good and of God in faith, knowing that the Lord will reward us and the work we do is not in vain.
The thing is, without the grace of God teaching us to deny worldly lusts and seek the things of the Kingdom of God instead, we would all prefer intoxication over watering. Though I know this to be true, it’s still difficult at times.
Even so, there are always some who value good things. There are some who value knowing what is good and true, what Jesus is about, and how He would have us live our lives in Him. There are some who want a safe place to self-reflect, find encouragement, and a friend who understands how difficult it can be to live as a faithful, God-fearing Christian in this world today.
If we continue to water people in the right things, then God will water us. He will keep making us strong in His Spirit who is as a “fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
PREVIOUS STUDY: Considering Proverbs 11:24 – There is that scatterth, and yet increaseth: and there is that whitholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.
The purpose of this bible study in The Proverbs is to consider present-day events in terms of the teachings and wisdom of Jesus Christ. Follow in WordPress or subscribe by email (red button at the bottom of each page below the comments) if you would like to join this discussion and receive updates of future posts. Visit the link above for easy access to all posts within this series.