I read 2 Corinthians 8 today in my quiet time and was taken aback by how much we can learn from it about giving! My impression was that the Bible did not say very much specifically about financial giving; I do not think that impression took the wealth of information in 2 Corinthians 8 (pardon the pun) into account. I recommend reading it yourself, but here are some of the things that I noticed:
- Paul describes the generosity of the Macedonian churches as a grace given to them by God (v. 1).
- "[I]n a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints" (vv. 2-4). Wow!
- We should "excel" in our giving (v. 7).
- Our giving reflects the sincerity of our love (v. 8).
- The goal is equality (vv. 13-15). That is certainly worth some thought.