June 25

2 Corinthians 8:11-15

“I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need…” vss. 13-14a

It seems that some people in the Corinthian congregation were reluctant to share their hard-earned money with the needy folks in Jerusalem. Such feelings are quite common, even in the family of faith. And the more material goods we’ve managed to accumulate the more difficult the sharing becomes. Paul understood this–but he believed in balance. Since the Corinthians had abundant resources they should be glad to share generously. While his words are logical and make perfect sense, there are many in our day who would disagree. They’ve gotten used to the lack of economic balance and prefer a system that allows wealth to flow from the poor to the rich, but not the other way around. As followers of Jesus, living within that system, we are the beneficiaries, and as a result, have amazing resources to share with the poor and needy. And many are doing exactly that! They’re using their abundance and generously giving to a whole variety of worthy causes. And as disasters become even more frequent in this changing world, their sharing opportunities will continue. Instead of moaning about being asked to give, they rejoice in being able to reflect the generosity of Jesus. In the process they learn the truth of Paul’s words: “The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

Thought for the Day: How do I decide where to do my giving?

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