June 29, 2018

2 Corinthians 8:7-15…“And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something—now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means.” vss. 10-11

Paul was not only an evangelist, he was the stewardship director in the early church. There had been a severe famine and Jewish Christians in Jerusalem were starving. Paul believed that believers in the Greek congregation, because they were a part of the Body of Christ, had an obligation to give offerings to those who were in need. In this letter he urges the Corinthians, who had begun the collection during the previous year, to complete it according to their means. Requests for money such as this are often resisted in our congregations. When the focus of the entire culture is on accumulation and our leaders brag about their massive wealth, generosity has a way of sliding to the back burner, even among people of faith. Most of us have learned to live with abundance beyond our expectations and even regard it as our due reward. Ironically, the more we have the more difficult it becomes to give, and the wealth that should have been a blessing becomes a curse. Our motto becomes “In Money We Trust,” and the dollar becomes our god. Paul would have understood, and he would have railed against it. Greed is always  an affront to the gospel.

Thought for the Day: How do I rationalize my abundance?