2 Cor 8:10-24 – Practical Advice on Christian Giving

Christian Mölk2 Corinthians Leave a Comment

2 Cor 8:10-11

  1. If earlier in the chapter Paul gave exemplary examples of giving and explained the spiritual background to Christian giving, he now presents some practical advice on how a Christian should give of his money.
    1. The first practical advice for generous Christian giving is to “finish what you start”. The Corinthians had previously decided to give money to the poor in Jerusalem; now they need to complete that decision as well.
      1. All decisions that a Christian makes should be well thought out. It is important to “count the cost”, as Jesus put it (Luke 14:28), of all the important decisions you make so that you do not later realise that you have made a mistake.
      1. That is why it is so important that as a preacher you do not stir up a lawsuit or manipulate someone’s decision, a decision that the latter may not be able to live up to.
    1. The second practical advice for generous Christian giving is “willingness”. Christian giving is based on “wanting” to give. If you give because you feel compelled or something like that, then it is not really “giving”, because giving is based on willingness.
    1. The third practical advice for generous Christian giving is the principle of “giving according to the means you have”. Christian giving is not measured by how much money one gives, and neither Paul nor God expects us to give something we do not have.
      1. Someone who gives only 100 crowns may generously share all the money they have, while someone who gives 1000 crowns may only give dutifully of their abundance.
    1. An often debated question is whether Christians should tithe or not. There is a lot to be said on this subject, but in short it can be said that tithing as a law obviously does not apply to us Christians because we belong to the New Covenant. However, tithing as a principle can be said to be a good benchmark for how much of one’s money one should give in normal circumstances.
      1. If it is more important to give exactly 10% than to give generously depending on the situation, then you have missed the point of Christian giving. If the Old Covenant was based on the Law of Moses, the New Covenant is based on the love of Jesus. Christian giving is based on wanting to give, not having to give.
        1. The person who gives because he has to, he only gives exactly as much as you have to, for example 10%, but the person who gives because he wants to, he can sometimes give 100%, depending on the situation.

2 Cor 8:13

  1. The idea was not that the Corinthians would give of their money so that the Christians in Jerusalem would become rich at their expense, no, they would give to help those who were less fortunate than themselves.
    1. So you should not give away your money so that a pastor or preacher can become rich and live a luxurious life.
    1. The fourth practical advice is that giving is based on the needs of the other. There is no point in a poor person giving of his money to a rich person just for the sake of it.

2 Cor 8:14

  1. At the moment, the needs were greater in Jerusalem than in Corinth, but who knows, in the future it might be the other way around? One should not give in order to get back, but it may still be good to know that the principle of giving applies in all directions and in the future it may be ourselves who are in great need of a fundraiser.
    1. The fifth piece of practical advice is to “treat others as you would like to be treated yourself” (Matthew 7:12). If we think it is good when other Christians give generously to us, then we should also strive to give generously ourselves when money is available to us.

2 Cor 8:16

  1. Since Titus was to take with him the money collected by the Corinthians, Paul here writes a recommendation for Titus so that the Corinthians would feel secure in handing over their money to him.
    1. The sixth piece of practical advice Paul gives us about Christian giving is to put trustworthy people in charge of the money. Since the money is collected to help poor people, it is very important that it is handled in the best possible way so that no money is lost in the process.

2 Cor 8:21

  1. The seventh piece of practical advice is to manage all money raised transparently. Let everyone who wants to know how much money has been raised, who is in charge of it and how it is distributed.
    1. Gossip and suspicion about corruption would be devastating for the Church and must be avoided in every possible way.

2 Cor 8:24

  1. As I have written before, generous giving is the result of God’s grace working in one’s life. The practical and the spiritual go together. Having become a Christian eventually affects all areas of life, including money, sex and power (1 John 4:20-21).
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