Giving can often be seen as a dirty word…maybe something we know that we are called to do but at best something we grudgingly participate in. Also, many people have a bad taste in their mouths when churches talk about money. In contrast to these attitudes, 2 Corinthians 9 describes why we should see giving as a beautiful act that God allows us to participate in.
Giving is seen as beautiful because it allows us to bless others. It brings God praise and brings blessing to us.
First, as we give, it allows us to bless others by responding to their needs. The offering which Paul describes was meant to meet the tangible needs of other Christians. Giving is one of the clearest ways for us to love others. Whether this giving is money or our time, it allows us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Second, our giving brings praise to God. Verses 11 and 12 speak of the thanks and thanksgiving which flows to God when we participate in giving. People cannot see God but they can see us as his ambassadors and through our giving can tangibly see God at work.
Finally, giving allows us to be blessed. Many false teachers will claim that if you give money, it guarantees that God will give even more money back to you as his blessing. A simple look at our passage shows that God will bless us for our giving but that it is not necessarily financial. In verse 8 the blessing is to “abound in every good work” and in verse 10 it is to “enlarge the harvest of your righteousness”. God in his grace allows us to participate in his work in the world, so we should generously give out of all that God has blessed us with.
Question of the day: What aspect of this passage motivates you to begin or continue generous giving?
Father God, thank you for the opportunity I have to join you in your work in the world. Help me to have eyes to see needs that I can respond to and help me to be generous. Help me not to hoard the blessings you have given to me but share them with others, for your glory and the good of others. Amen.