Hello, and welcome back to Riddles of the Wise!
Thirteen years ago, Jill and I were about to buy our first home. At the time, we were living in a duplex, and the owner decided he wanted to sell it to us. We ran the numbers and realized that if we owned the place, we’d actually pay less each month (due to a tenant living in the other half of the building) than we were currently paying in rent. All we had to do was come up with the money for the down payment.
I was interning at the church to become a pastor, and she was teaching 6th grade at a Christian school. When we put both of our salaries together, we had virtually nothing. Additionally, we both brought about $20,000 worth of student loans into our marriage. So, not only did we not have down payment money, we had a huge amount of debt. In order to be able to buy the duplex, we had 90 days to scrounge up $3,500 to pay closing costs on the duplex.
We borrowed some money from Jill’s parents, called everyone who owed us $5, and quit paying credit bills that could wait. We literally saved pennies trying to get the money we needed. About a week before the closing date, I got this strange feeling that we were supposed to give a guy some money. It made no sense. I didn’t owe him anything. Plus, we desperately needed everything we had. But, I couldn’t shake it. It was the first time I remember thinking, “God wants me to be generous for no apparent reason.” I talked to Jill, and we decided to do it. We gave this guy money that we simply could not afford to give him.
A few days later, we went to the closing hoping for a miracle. During the meeting, the banker said they’d made some mistakes during the processing of the loan, and they handed us a check. We didn’t need any closing costs. They actually paid us to close. What?!? We bought our duplex, and then left with a check that was so big that we paid back Jill’s parents, paid our monthly bills, and still had several hundred dollars left to put in savings.
I’ve closed on several properties in the last 14 years and it’s never happened since! That was the first time that the following words from the Bible jumped off the pages, and became a reality in my life!
Prov. 11:24,25, “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
God wants you to experience the incredible blessing of being generous with others. And, He says that when you do, He will help you in ways you can’t even imagine! Start praying today for an opportunity (or opportunities) to be generous to somebody with your time, talents, or resources. If you have courage in this area of your life, you will learn that it blesses others, it blesses you, and brings you closer to God in the process. What a great deal!