"But since you excel in everything...see that you also excel in this grace of giving." (2 Corinthians 8:7, NIV)
It’s not just flattery. You really are the total package. Your desire to walk with Jesus is growing. The fruit of the Spirit emerges and operates in your everyday living. Your prayers are sincere and your care for others is sacrificial. Praise God, you are a totally new creation!
But here’s where things get touchy. Growing in trust and obedience doesn’t always make it to our wallets. Consequently, we miss an important opportunity to grow in the grace and truth of Jesus Christ.
Yes, you are the total package…but are you generous?
This question matters to the Apostle Paul…a lot. He spends two entire chapters in 2 Corinthians detailing how the church at Corinth excelled “in everything,” including “faith, speech, knowledge, earnestness and love.” But then Paul reminds them of “the grace of giving” and directs the church to excel in that, too.
As an example of generosity, Paul points to the churches of Macedonia. These were week-to-week storefront churches that gave beyond their ability, despite grinding poverty. Generous giving isn’t about ability or having it all; instead, it springs directly from faith-filled devotion to God.
The regular practice of generosity deepens discipleship in a uniquely powerful way. Something is missing if our prayers, serving and witnessing aren’t coupled with generous giving. There’s a delightful invitation here to go deeper in trusting obedience.
As you give thanks for the many expressions of your abundantly rich life in Christ, pause and ask yourself, “But am I generous?”