A few weeks back I began reading 2 Corinthians 9 where Paul addresses the people of Corinth in regards to serving and giving. He reminded them that God would bless them in bountiful ways so that their giving would multiply. But how does that happen?
Let’s look at verse 6 again. “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
I grew up a farmer’s daughter and currently live in a farming community. Farmers are not stingy in planting their crops because they know that their harvest will be in direct proportion to how much seed they’ve sown. That’s exactly the analogy Paul is using in verse 6 and I have to believe that many of those listening were indeed farmers and would relate to this kind of comparison. When we are stingy in our giving and sharing with others we rob ourselves of the opportunity to be abundantly blessed and to see our giving increase in ways we cannot imagine!
My money and especially my time are both so precious to me these days with three young children in my house! I need to ask for the Lord’s help to not to be so concerned with myself and my own needs and instead to turn my focus to the needs of others around me.
In what ways can I live out the exhortation in this verse? Certainly I can write a check to an organization in need and sometimes that’s the best thing to do. But I find that I often enjoy tangible giving; providing food, clothes or other items that are needed by those around me. Even if financial resources seem limited there are ways to use frugality to bless others. One way I like to do this is to get shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste for free or cheap using coupons and then donate it to a local Christian shelter.
Paul wasn’t only speaking to the Corinthians but also to the people of today’s world. When God blesses us with so much, giving to others should be our joyful response of thanks to Him for his provision. But what do we do when our attitude isn’t one of joy? Verse 7 gives us some insight into this problem and we’ll look at that next Monday!
Lord, thank you for giving me exceedingly, abundantly beyond all I could ask or think! Help me to share my blessings with those in need and encourage my children to do the same. Amen.