Have you ever made a financial decision you looked back on regretfully? Sure you have! I think we all have!
When it comes to financial management how we handle money can be emotional. It can be driven by sin, identity issues, discontentment, and fear. In 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, Paul uses the discussion of Titus’ visit to switch gears. He begins to discuss the giving of a relief offering he is gathering to take to the struggling church in Jerusalem. They said they would help, and now it is time to dig deep and make it happen. Will they own up to their financial commitment? No matter how bad off you are, there is always someone worse off you can help.
As we discuss the passage, I’ll provide a little more about the history and financial condition of Corinth and of Jerusalem; but for now, you might want to know that chapters 8 and 9 give some of the most thorough discussion of New Testament generosity. Although the situation is specific the truths are eternal.
It’s sad that the discussion of being generous with our material goods and having compassion is one that makes people cringe. But I get it! Churches have beat people up about giving for building programs, and have guilted people into pledging for projects and so on. Therefore, I think we need to have a Biblical view and foundation for managing our financial lives. This is part of being a new creation. Let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater!
This message will largely deal with the overall theme of JOY! You might ask: what’s the connection between joy and generosity? Are poorer people really more generous? Why? It turns out, one of those financial decisions you might regret is failing to be generous with your resources and talents!
Stay tuned as we cover these topics over the next few chapters and hopefully get many of your questions answered!