“A Generous Eye” (Proverbs 22:9)

“He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.” (Proverbs 22:9, NKJV)

This short proverb is long on meaning. It speaks of the “generous eye.” The “eye” is often used in Scripture so we might consider our general outlook or view towards life. Jesus spoke of one with a “good eye” and a “bad eye” in Matthew 6:22-23. He was not talking about physical eyesight. He was referring to those whose focus in life was on spiritual, rather than material things. One focused on the spiritual, would have a proper view of material possessions. One focused on material treasures, would allow that worldly focus to invade upon spiritual duties (see Matthew 6:24).

In Proverbs, one with “a generous eye” would have a certain viewpoint towards “the poor.” His compassionate and kindly outlook would lead him to “give of his bread” to those in need. By contrast, one with “an evil eye” would produce the opposite—to keep from others in their time of need. In fact, Proverbs 28:22 says, “A man with an evil eye hastens after riches…”

God’s blessings will fall upon those who have “a generous eye.” Those who are generous are always looking for ways to help, to share, to give to others.

For some, it is nothing to spend a couple of dollars on some candy or gum, but they will look for every excuse not to hand a couple of dollars to the beggar on the street.

For some, it is nothing to drop a fifty dollar-bill at the movies or a fair or at coffee shops each week, but fifty dollars seems like way too much in the collection plate.

For some, it is nothing to spend several thousand to go on vacations each year, but they would never think to give that much so preachers can go preach the gospel.

For some, it is nothing to spend three to four hours watching television or scrolling their phone, but this seems like too much time to ask someone to volunteer.

For some, it is nothing to buy ourselves a new, name-brand outfit or pair of shoes, but we will pinch our pennies and look for hand-me-downs to give others in need.

For some, they will travel far and wide for sports and concerts, but they want to save gas when it comes to helping their fellow Christians down the street who are in need.

What kind of an “eye” do you have towards spiritual things? So often, we are generous towards ourselves and cheap with others. What kind of an eye did Jesus have for you when He selflessly gave Himself for your benefit? Let’s look at our opportunities to give, like our Lord, with “a generous eye.”