The root of generosity, as in most matters of faith, is trust.
Do I trust that there is enough to share?
Enough for me and for you and for all of us?
Do I trust in God's abundance?
Since you excel in so many ways in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.
I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.
You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich. 2 Corinthians 8:7-9 (NLT)
Paul writes to the church in Corinth: “Be the best … you are the best.”
Being the best is an idea that we’re familiar with: we want to dominate on the soccer field, win a marching band competition, become the valedictorian, get the promotion at work. Our competitive society pushes us to be the best, and that can feel like a lot of pressure!
Paul isn’t pressuring the Christians in Corinth to excel in sports or music, in school or at work. He’s encouraging them to be excellent in holy things: in their faith, in their commitment, in love. Paul says they don’t have to do this out of their own strength, though. The grace needed to be the best in holy things comes from Jesus Christ, whose way of self-emptying love for the world invites us all to an abundant life.
Jesus’ grace makes us rich so that we have enough to share generously of ourselves and be excellent in faith and love.
God, in a world that constantly tells me I need to do all that I can with all that I am to be the best in all that I do, your grace is a drink of cool, fresh water! Give me lots of it, so that I can be excellent in the things that matter — in loving and sharing generously with the world. Amen.
Go out and share with your heart.
Don’t share because you feel pressured. Don’t share with hesitation.
Share with cheerfulness and with love.
For you can trust in this: “God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work.”
based on 2 Corinthians 9:7-8