Greedy or Generous? – Proverbs 21:26

Proverbs 21:26 "He (sluggard) coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous (just, lawful) giveth and spareth not."

I have enclosed the Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries word meanings for the English words in parentheses in the verse to make the verse easier to read and more readily understandable. Definitions elaborated on appear below.

Slothful (H6102) – sluggard, indolent.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines "indolent" as, "Habitually idle or indisposed to labor; lazy; listless; sluggish; indulging in ease; applied to persons."

Coveteth (H183) – long, lust, desire, greatly desire.

Greedily (H8378) – dainty, desire, lust, pleasant. This word is derived from the H183, the Hebrew word for "covet."

Spareth (H2820) – keep back, hold back, hinder, refrain, withhold.

This verse is a part of a two verse snippet on the slothful man. Verse 25 says that the slothful’s desire kills him because his hands refuse to labor. The life of a lazy person is a life of misery. There is no contentment, only a overwhelming desire to have that which he cannot obtain. There is certainly no concern for others, only a selfish concern for himself.

Obviously, the righteous man is a stark contrast to the sluggard.

  1. While the soul of the sluggard desires and has nothing, the soul of the righteous will be made fat (healthy, satisfied) (Proverbs 13:4).
  2. The sluggard focuses on himself while the righteous are concerned with the needs of others.
  1. The righteous are sacrificial in their giving. They put others needs before their own while the lazy does not give to others.
  1. The righteous gives without grudging while if the slothful gives anything, he gives it with grudging.

Though logically it seems if you gave away what you had to the poor you would lose what you had, but God always pays you back (Prov. 19:17).

This Christmas season is a season of giving, because God gave us the example through giving us the best Christmas gift of all, Jesus. What is your heart attitude like, especially around this time of year? Are you greedy or generous? In what way can you demonstrate the love and generosity of Christ to someone without Christ or lest fortunate than yourself? Have you asked God to direct your giving? Do you give and spare not?

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27


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