“There is one who distributes, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, yet it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and those who water will also be watered.”
I love this proverb because it really captures the essence of not only a humane entrepreneur, but a minister; Someone who gives abundantly and still increases all the more. One who is truly generous and committed to delivering value. And this isn’t just some fanciful idea, but a very existential way of life I see played-out often, which flies in the face of the stigmatic stereotype entrepreneurs as greedy money-mongers.
Again, “The generous soul will be made rich and those who water will also be watered.”
Indeed, generosity is the mark of a humane entrepreneur; one who offers genuine value and never runs out because it’s the kind of person who carries internal abundance to the core, which proliferates all the more as one gives all the more.
But then we have the other kind. The kind that gives entrepreneurs a bad name. The kind who gains hastily; who gives little and takes much; who is only concerned for themselves and no one else. This kind is under the guise of an entrepreneur, but is really nothing more than a hustler.
I’ve observed the pattern of this type and it’s really interesting to see how it plays-out. Usually, they start out good and strong and rise-up quickly. Everything seems to be going so well for them as we may be tempted to envy. But it’s just a matter of time before their crooked ways catch-up and bite them in the ass. Sometimes this happens slowly and sometimes it happens very suddenly.
“And there is one who withholds more than is right, yet it leads to poverty…”
So we see two kinds of prosperity: One that is gained hastily and dishonestly, yet doesn’t last. And the other that is gained slowly with integrity and will endure because the proper time and attention went into constructing with the right building blocks in the right way.
Therefor, I think it’s important to discern between our healthy drive and our selfish haste. Human nature tends to lean towards the latter as we may be tempted to compromise our integrity to reach our goals sooner. Whenever I catch myself beginning to go that way, I remind myself that no profit is worth sacrificing my priceless reputation and integrity. And I can say that in my 25+ years as an entrepreneur, my principles have been rigorously tested, but it’s always nice to sleep well at night. This is how I was able to build a construction business solely on referrals. When we demonstrate integrity with real value and are not afraid to be generous, doors open and phones ring! Opportunities find us and profits follow, all the while we continue to give as we continue to receive.
It’s not that these principles obligate God to to bless us, but that God designed these principles to bless us. An entrepreneur should always be willing to give a little extra without actually short-changing oneself and even going a few extra miles for a valued client when the situation warrants it. And yes, that extra couple of miles does mean money going out of our pocket and time spent, but we don’t worry because our value and generosity attracts all the more prosperity.
The proliferating effect of delivering value and generosity is a natural law as well as spiritual, and is one that will reward greatly when we commit to it with a sound mind and upright heart.