“Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” – Proverbs 11:24-25.
How do we explain what we see in this world? Terrorism, slavery, racism and hunger are all a part of the world we live in. Subconsciously, we probably ask ourselves this question on a regular basis. But consciously we rarely do, simply because we have enough in our lives that we rarely stop and wonder why. We’re tired. Stressed. Frazzled. We feel depleted. We wonder how or why we can guarantee that life will be pain-free or at least better. How can we be refreshed and find rest?
Proverbs 11:25 says those who refresh others will be refreshed. Jeremiah 31:25 says, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” The Bible speaks clearly about the value of refreshing others in the work of the Lord. Whether it is due to a personal difficulty or to a disheartening circumstance, there will always be the need either to refresh others or to be refreshed ourselves in our service for Christ.
Paul commented on this in 1 Corinthians 16:18: ”For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.” In writing to the Christians in Rome, Paul again stated the hope that he with them may be refreshed in the Lord in Romans 15:32: “so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed.” His desire was that when he came to them, they would be refreshed. The ministry of refreshing others in the Lord is often a mutual blessing.
How can we refresh others so we too will be refreshed? How can we in a practical way be a refreshing influence to the Lord’s people? Perhaps it could be through being a good listener, or taking the time to pick up the phone, or tell somebody who is struggling that you are praying for them. Maybe it is buying some groceries or taking them to lunch. 2 Kings 4, the women of Shunem provided Elisha with a “home away from home” – a “get away” that refreshed him in the midst of his regular ministry. She was amply rewarded for her kind deeds to Elisha as you will see when you read the story. There is a multitude of means by which we can refresh one another in the Lord – all motivated by one main ingredient – love for the Lord and for His people.
Whether we are on the giving end or the receiving, as long as we are serving Christ, there will always be the need to be refreshed or encouraged in the Lord. Each day is an opportunity to spend time, talent and money to make life a little better for those around us.
The way to be refreshed is to refresh others. Today I challenge you to refresh someone. The gospel was not designed to be hoarded; it was designed to be shared.
- What does it mean to be refreshed?
- How well do we use our time, talent, and treasure to refresh others?
- How generous are we with patience?
- What can we do this week to refresh somebody in our life?