“We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in 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- and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything-in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you- see that you excel in this act of grace also.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-7
Look at the words of generosity or abundance in these verses:
Vs. 1 ABUNDANCE of joy
Vs. 2 OVERFLOWED in a WEALTH of GENEROUSITY
Vs. 3 BEYOND their means
Vs. 4 BEGGING us EARNESTLY
Vs. 7 EXCEL in everything
Vs. 8 EXCEL in this act of grace
The principle of generosity, in not having a stingy heart that only wants to, or perhaps is willing to, do just enough to get by.
Paul’s words inspired by God, chosen to communicate the heart of the Macedonian church, express not just a willingness to give but an eagerness to give, so much so, that they begged earnestly for the FAVOR to give, to take part in the relief of the saints.
Generosity goes beyond just finances – at the root it is an attitude of the heart that is evidenced in every area of life.
Do I have a generous heart? Am I eager to give? Do I look for ways to give and do beyond my means?
Diane Hunt is part of the Development and Addiction Recovery teams at America’s Keswick. In addition to being a Biblical Counselor, she is a Women’s speaker for retreats, conferences and events. She is a regular writer for Victory Call and one of the authors of Crossing the Jordan Bible Study. She has been married to her husband John over 28 years. She has 2 adult children and 3 grandchildren and 3 adult step-children with 7 grandchildren making 10 in all. She delights reading and teaching, but mostly laughing at the funny things her grandchildren say and do.