Be Excellent in Generosity
2Cor 8:7 But just as you excel in everything-- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
Though we may have strengths we must not overlook our weaknesses. But given the diversity of their strengths, how could they have this weakness of charity? However notice the flow of his first letter to them. For Paul speaks of the diversity of their giftedness in 1Corinthians, but he speaks also of their weakness which brought imbalance to the application of their gifts and the overinflating of one over another. And so he wrote 1Corinthians 13, which is often read during marriage ceremonies, but which is really about the fact that they were making much of speech and knowledge in their gifts of tongues and prophecy, but were deficient with respect to love. Interesting also that the KJV translated "love" as "charity" in that chapter.
Indeed there is a correspondance between love and generosity. But such generosity must not be out of a legalistic motive. For he also writes, "If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." 1Cor 13:3 Many who practice generosity are under the false impression that by doing so they will save themselves. Such a person believes a false gospel of salvation by works. But on the other hand, the lack of generosity reveals a lack of love for others. And this is what Paul saw in the Corinthians. Yes they were devoted to him, but such love had yet to extend to the larger Christian community.
Apart from false motives, love is reflected by one's generosity. John wrote, "God so loved the world that he gave ..." John 3:16 If your love was measure by your generosity how would you do?
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