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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Wednesday, July 28

Some give freely, yet grow all the richer; others withhold what is due, and only suffer want.
—Proverbs 11:24

In Charles Dickens's story A Christmas Carol, Scrooge withheld. He withheld money, generosity, affirmation, and caring. The more he withheld, the more he shrunk. He had less and less and became less and less. His fear for his own welfare was as large as the open sky. And the vastness of that fear chiseled away the wonder of his humanity.

In a culture of economic struggle, unemployment, stock market crashes, foreclosures, credit card debt, and institutions that mismanage funds, it's increasingly easy to hear the rapidly fluttering wings that fan the flames of fear within us. "Hold on to what you have, be wary of trusting others, generosity leads only to being taken advantage of," we hear them say. Sadly, those flames of fear will burn away the most valid traces of wonder in our soul.

When we begin to fear having too little, it's time to start scattering.

Start giving with abandon. Start sharing recklessly. We were created with a need to give, and when we do, fear is rendered powerless. When we scatter our compassion like seeds cast about by the wind, when we scatter our love like the spray of waves endlessly crashing to shore, we find joy invading our soul. It's not so much that our own possessions swell—rather, we swell and expand until we are as ripe as fruit in August.

When a dry desert landscape is parched and fissured from lack of moisture, even the fewest drops of water can cause small wildflowers to pop up from the cracked ground. Try a little scattering and see what surprises pop up from your soul.

O God, scrape off the crust of fear that hardens my heart, and give me the courage to fling my blessings over the world as if they were flecks of the brightest angel dust.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2003.