5 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. 6 Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. 7 He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. (Psalm 112:5-7 NIV)
I have been blessed during my life to know some very generous people. People who have given of their time and money to help what they believed was a worthy cause. I’m grateful for the lessons my generous friends have taught me and for the many ways they have tried to better the lives of others.
The man described in Psalm 112 is a generous man–he is generous and he lends freely to others. He is generous, but he is much more than generous. His relationships with those around him are quite different than the relationships that most people share with others. According to the Psalmist, he is also a man who conducts all of his affairs with justice–he is fair even when he could take advantage of others. He is a man who doesn’t get rattled or shaken by the changes and fluctuations of life. He is a man who experiences “bad news” differently than than most people–he has no fear of “bad news.”
I read the profile of this man and think to myself, “Now there’s the man that I desire to be!” I don’t know many men or women who would not desire these characteristics for their own life. The real question is, “How do I get there? How do I get from the man that I am to the man that I desire to be?” I think I’ve noticed some clues in the verses I’ve read this morning. Tucked in there, among the descriptions of how the man relates to those around him, are clues to how he relates to God.
He is a “righteous” man. The Hebrew word used doesn’t mean what we think about when we hear the word, “righteous.” We think of a group of monks in dark robes chanting in an echo chamber of a sanctuary or a hyper-religious person, but the word, in Hebrew, means “rightly related.” He is rightly related with God which leads to his right relationships with those around him. Secondly, he is a “steadfast” man. He is diligent, focused, and persistent about one thing–he trusts in God. His trust in God, his steadfastness in trusting God, his unwavering trust in God has shaped the way that he experiences the world around him. He has no need to acquire as much as possible, as quickly as possible, because of possible lean days ahead–he trusts in God and therefore he can be generous. He has no need to climb over others to get where he needs to be or short-change others before they short-change him–he trusts in God and therefore he can deal justly with others. Now, there is the man I desire to be!
My prayer today, Lord, is that You would enable me to be persistent and passionate in my pursuit to trust You more and more so that my trust in You will shape the way I relate to others.