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Currency Calisthenics

January 28th, 2009

Focus Text: Proverbs 11: 24-26 (NLT)

24 Give freely and become more wealthy;
      be stingy and lose everything.

 25 The generous will prosper;
      those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

 26 People curse those who hoard their grain,
      but they bless the one who sells in time of need.


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

Activity is a catalyst for health.  When we expend energy, it doesn’t get used up.  Oh, it may go away for the moment after a long run or a particularly difficult weight lifting routine.  But over the long haul, temporary moments of energy expenditure will yield perpetual amounts of greater energy.  In other words, energy improves when it is used or given away through activity.

Worrying over or even planning one’s long-term physical well-being will not necessarily produce good health.  In fact, it may very well worsen it.  For years, scientists and doctors have warned us that one’s mental health is a key to one’s physical health.  A lifestyle replete with stress and anxiety will have very real negative effects.  Heart attack.  Stroke.  High blood pressure.  Hypertension. Even back pain.  Stress can not only trigger these conditions, but also exacerbate them.

What are we stressed about?  Ironically, many are wound up tightly over the issue of their health.  They sit in their easy chairs, eat their double portions of unhealthy food, and fret about how unhealthy they are.  In actuality, their worry and lack of activity are making matters worse.  Expending the same energy on a treadmill or a bicycle would not only decrease their anxiety, but also improve the very thing they are worried about.

In other words, movement and action are the keys to health and energy.  No rocket science surprises here.

This same philosophy applies to monetary issues.  Concerning matters of money, there are those plan well and those who don’t plan at all.  There are those who spend frivolously and those who stingily cling to every last coin in their pockets as if there is no tomorrow.  Just like matters of physical health, financial health is also affected greatly by our attitudes and our energy expended.  If we tightly cling to every dollar and greedily hoard up our money, fretting over every cent as if they are the keys to happiness, then we will lose the very thing we desire . . . and that doesn’t necessarily mean money.

These passages are very clear on this principle.  “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.”  Wow, that’s pretty direct . . . and pretty insane!  How can we get more by giving away more?  Simple.  It’s a spiritual principle of health.  Just like the muscles in our bodies, exercise is the temporary tearing down of something so that it can grow back stronger.  That’s how our money works as well . . . at least money in the hands of a child of God.  We grow not only the amount of money, but also the strength of our money, by our willingness to give it away.  We can’t sit on the couch and fret over it; we have to get up and get moving.  Our energy produces energy . . . our giving produces more to give.

This principle continues with, “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”  So simple.  This concept is not just about dollars; it can be about prayer or encouragement . . . anything.  When we feel the most vulnerable and the most depressed, our willingness to selflessly pray or care for others will produce the very inward refreshment that we personally need the most.  We have to give it away first before it can come back.

Finally, it carries over to our impact on others . . . not just with our money, but also with the impression we leave.  “People curse those who hoard their grain, but they bless the one who sells in time of need.”  In other words, people’s needs must take a higher priority than personal gain.  That is what sets the child of God apart: the desire and willingness to help others rather than oneself.  Sounds simple in spiritual terms, but in reality it’s not an easy thing to think of others in a time of personal need.  To pass by a moment of personal advancement for the sake of someone else’s advancement is nothing short than real spiritual growth.  

Flashy?  Nah.  Effective?  You bet.

Health is health no matter what part of life we reference.  Just like our physical bodies, we must use our money and the security that we try so hard to harbor to build spiritual strength.  It must be given away.  It must be used.  

Why?  Because activity is the key to all kinds of health.


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