Generosity; February 1, 2023

2 Corinthians 8:2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.

I have heard reports of this sort of thing countless times. Even my own daughters experienced it on short-term mission trips to Southeast Asia in high school, when the people to whom they were ministering were shockingly generous in their hospitality. The thing is, generosity is a matter of the heart, not the resources. Paul makes that clear in verse 12: “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.” One of the many ironies of politics is that the people who are most in favor of the government taxing “the rich” in order to “take care of the poor” are least generous with their personal resources. Study after statistical study has shown that conservatives are the most generous personally, in direct contrast to what they are accused of by the Left. Even within churches, sometimes the “great benefactors” give less proportionately than some who are barely getting by, as Jesus pointed out to His disciples while watching people at the temple offering box. (Luke 21:1-4) God is never in trouble for resources, financial or otherwise. His children sometimes are, so He delights to pour blessings through one to another, and everyone in the process is blessed.

We have been on the receiving end of this recently. Since Sunday, each day people have showed up at our door with food, in one form or another. Today we are being taken out to lunch, and who knows what will happen in the days to come? It almost feels like they want us to get fat! However, seeing the joy on their faces is a real blessing to us, and we don’t want to squelch that joy. God is indeed our Provider and participating in His provision is a blessing, whatever our specific role might be.

Father, thank You for Your overwhelming generosity that Paul referred to in verse nine. Thank You for indeed meeting all our needs as we seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness. (Matthew 6:33) Help us all delight to be part of the flow of Your provision, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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