2 Corinthians 8 Reading Guide

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-12 - You are always being urged to compare yourself with others in terms of finances, how green your lawn is, or how many likes you get on your posts. Certainly this isn't a healthy obsession, but at times in can be. Paul tells the Corinthians to compare themselves to the Macedonians, who although were "in the midst of a severe trial" themselves, we're able to give to the massive collection Paul's been organizing for starving Christians in Jerusalem, which was experiencing a tremendous famine.

  • The Macedonians:

  • gave above their ability;

  • pleaded for the "privilege of sharing;"

  • didn't just give money, but "gave of themselves."

  • Paul makes it clear that he has high expectations for the Corinthians:

  • Since they "excel at everything," they have an obligation to excel at giving as well. How often do you think of giving in these terms. Think of what you do to excel, whether that's on the farm, on the court, in the office or wherever. You know what hard work and effort it takes to excel. Are you putting that same hard work and effort into excelling at your giving?

  • Paul makes it clear that the Corinthians and us need to compare ourselves to others in this matter!

  • A church's giving is a quantifiable measure of its love and earnestness (v8). Measured in financial terms, how does your love and earnestness compare?

  • At the same time, the size of the check is not necessarily the best indicator of your generosity. If you are eagerly willing to give, "the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have (v12)."

  • v13-15 - The communist motto is 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.' At first glan