Week of March 3
Ed Young Television Weekly Devotional
Open Hands vs. Closed Fist
One man gives freely yet gains even more. Another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. Proverbs 11:24
A story from the Far East describes a simple technique that poachers use to trap monkeys. They cut a small hole in a gourd, scrape out the inside where they insert a banana and then stake the gourd to the ground. A curious monkey comes along, puts his hand in the gourd and grabs a hold of the prize inside. But he can’t pull out his fist while it clutches the hidden fruit. Instead of releasing the banana and going free, he remains captive and is eventually caught by the poachers.
In the second half of the verse above, we see a man who goes through life with his hands gripped in closed fists. “If I can just hold on to what I’ve got, I’ll be Ok.”
But in hoarding our possessions, we will ultimately find ourselves trapped. We exhibit traits of stinginess and anxiety in worrying about whether or not we have enough to survive. But when we rely on ourselves instead of God to provide our needs; when we are stingy and greedy, we are putting our freedom in great jeopardy.
It’s time for a hand check. Are you going through life close-fisted and selfish? Or are you open-handed and generous with what God has given you. Remember, in sharing the gifts God has provided to you, your generosity will produce an abundant life.
Dear God, Please help me to do a regular hand check, and keep my hands open, giving freely and not close-fisted and stingy. Help me to realize that your blessings are meant to be shared, and not stored away selfishly. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
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