I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
– 2 Corinthians 8:8-9
I’m fairly certain that this exhortation from the Apostle Paul to the Christians at Corinth would make more than a few Christians in our day more than a little uncomfortable. And that’s not a bad thing.
There is a view among many in the American church that our giving is to be secret. I guess this arises from Jesus’ exhortation in charitable giving that you should “not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:3). Thus, what may be an over-application of His teaching, Christians think their giving should be covert or hidden. Paul turns this concept completely on it’s head.
Here in 2 Corinthians 8 the Apostle seems to challenge the Church at Corinth (which appears to have been somewhat well-to-do) to out give the Macedonian Church (which was not as well-to-do). “Let’s see just how real your love for others is. Don’t let those Churches of Macedonia out give you! And remember how much Jesus gave for you, He gave it all! How are you going to respond?”
This is a striking passage and almost seems uncharacteristic of Paul. Or maybe it’s just contrary to our culture?
Enduring Word Commentary with Pastor David Guzik
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Additional Daily Devotionals
My Utmost for His Highest | Oswald Chambers
Morning & Evening | Charles Spurgeon