At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; And there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: And he that watereth shall be watered also himself. He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: But blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.Proverbs 11:24–26
In the eleventh chapter of Proverbs, we find three proverbs that are aiming at the same target, and all three of them hit the bullseye. They all line up as the foundation for the wisdom expressed by John Bunyan—“a man there was, though some did count him mad, the more he cast away the more he had.”
In the scriptural idea of economics, money is seed. Because it is seed, there is a way of throwing it away that is simply throwing it away (into the ocean, say), and another way of throwing it away (into the soil, say) that returns to you thirty, sixty, and one hundred-fold. Money is seed.
“Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God” (2 Cor. 9:10–11).
In this passage of Proverbs, this same basic truth is expressed in three different ways.
In v. 24, it says that there is a man who scatters, but somehow increases his store. And there is another man who holds back more than he ought to hold back, and yet this stinginess does not preserve his wealth. It tends rather to poverty. In short, the open-handed man increases in his wealth, and the tight-fisted man comes into hard times. This is counterintuitive to the foolish.
In the next verse, the liberal soul is made fat. The one who is a source of water to others finds at the end of the day that he is well-watered himself.
And after that, the hard-driving merchant brings the curses of the people down on his head. This is what we in modern parlance would call price-gouging. But a merchant who has grain available, and makes it readily available receives the blessing of the people.
Money is seed, and needs to be treated as such.