Generosity

2 Corinthians 8:8-9

                In this passage the Apostle Paul is appealing to our sense of recognition that Jesus is the best of us, and that we ought to want to be like Him. So, in order to speak to the church in Corinth about their possible “claims” to have genuine love, he essentially tells them: “Here’s how we can measure that…”

8 “I say this not as a command but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.”

Paul then explains that Jesus possessed such grace that He stepped down from His place of wealth (not just any wealth, but heavenly wealth) to become poor so that we may obtain such heavenly wealth through His selflessness. I think we can mull over the implications of this passage and perhaps even weave a blanket of other possibilities as to what that means for us, but I think the gist of this message of generosity is that it’s one thing to talk about generosity, and another thing altogether to live by that principle. Paul points to Christ as the litmus test for generosity, and uses this to “prove” our love. It feels like a tall order, but we also should keep in mind that Jesus was fully man for His time as our Teacher. He sacrificed not only His heavenly wealth for a time, but also His body. When we consider this in light of our own contributions, we fall short every time.

So, what can we do? If we believe that God will equip us to carry out His will, why do we shy away from giving it 100% sometimes? All the time? Truly we can trust in His faithfulness, but do we doubt God’s provision? I pray that I will have the courage, to let go of my doubt, to be fully committed to the work God has given me to do, and to give everything I can to Him.

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