I really don’t need to write to you about this ministry of giving for the believers in Jerusalem. For I know how eager you are to help, and I have been boasting to the churches in Macedonia that you in Greece were ready to send an offering a year ago. In fact, it was your enthusiasm that stirred up many of the Macedonian believers to begin giving.
–2 Corinthians 9:1-2 NLT
I was stunned. I had a significant financial need some years ago, and on my modest salary as a pastor, it was overwhelming. And then, unexpectedly, some good friends handed me a very large check that went a long way towards meeting that need. Their generosity ignited hope in me when I really needed it.
Generosity tends to nurture generosity. Years later when my wife and I came into a small amount of money, we didn’t just spend it all on ourselves. Instead, we looked for opportunities to use those funds to ignite hope as we made unexpected gifts to missionaries, friends, and organizations we believed in.
To be honest, I have probably failed to be generous far more times than I care to admit. In fact, it is not automatic to respond with the generosity one has been shown (see Matthew 18:21-35). But the principle seen in 2 Corinthians 9:1-2 is still true: When we see generosity being shown, whether to ourselves or to others, it often will inspire us to show generosity to others. My own acts of generosity come in large part from the example I have been shown by God, my family, and a list of others too long to include here.
We all want to see our world be more generous to each other. We all want our children not to be selfish. We all want to see the work of God fully funded so that His Kingdom is advanced around the world. And one way we can help make those dreams become a reality is to lead the way by being generous with the blessings God has already freely bestowed upon us.
ACTION: Take time to meditate on Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 9:1-15. Name someone whose generosity inspired you. What was your response? Note too that the Corinthians started well and even inspired others, but then had to be reminded to finish what they had started. What is God reminding you of in this passage?