The Grace of Giving ~ 2 Corinthians 8 ~ 8 March 2015
How free are we in the ‘grace of giving’? Paul calls giving an ‘act of God’s grace’ because he knows that behind giving that flows from a free and willing heart is the clear action of God’s grace. But God’s grace is never merely something that floats free in a sea of subjective emotion – it involves the action of our wills: we are called to excel in ‘the grace of giving’ to demonstrate the sincerity of our faith as those who know ‘…the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.’
Ultimately, we need no other example than the incarnation of Christ to see how freely and abundantly God, in Christ, has given to us. In the light of such a model of costly giving we could feel overwhelmed. Paul makes it perfectly clear that it is not the size of the gift but how free our heart is in giving that matters. It is not primarily our money that God requires – it is our hearts that He longs for! God is not about the business of placing an unfair burden on any of His people or setting up a law on how much is given. We are to give according to ‘our means’ and in a way that brings ‘equality’ among God’s people without encouraging a ‘welfare mentality.’ Here is a strong word that can awaken us to the blessing of giving and release us from the powerful spirit of the age that places ‘me’ and ‘mine’ in the centre rather than the liberating will of God.