If you have been around the church scene for any length of time, I would imagine you have experienced “pressured giving”. Have you? Have you, or someone you know, been turned off because the church is “just after our money?”
I am so thankful that I don’t have to present to you a “law and rules” based generosity. In other words, it might sound like, “Be generous…or else!” “Or else what,” you ask? Or else…you are disobedient, a bad Christian, God won’t bless you, and so on. That’s what you might have heard! But, Law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ! So how do grace and truth work together to create generosity?
In the next part of 2nd Corinthians chapter 8, Paul addresses two things that have really turned people off regarding the topic of church and money. The first is “pressure to give”. For that, Paul responds with love and freedom. As we move into chapter 9, Paul gives an important truth principle that applies as well.
The second thing Paul addresses is the abuse of what is given. Be it the Vatican’s net worth of $10-15 billion, or the lavish lifestyles of some of TV’s most well known televangelists, we all scratch our heads and wonder how they get away with it. In fact, it was Jesus who had a real issue with people getting ripped off at the temple, when God’s house became a den of thieves!
To that, Paul responds with accountability, and lots of it. If you ever hear a pastor say something like, “Well, I am only accountable to God and he knows my heart,” then run! Paul trips over himself to make sure he has a team handling the money and he doesn’t even need to be on it. He keeps a safe distance from temptation and from accusation.
Beyond these applicable truths, this whole passage has love as its bookends–a whole new motivator for generosity. Listen in as we cover these important truths about giving.