Chapter 8 from the second Epistle of Paul to Corinthians explains that Christians from this church initiated a charity to support the needs of the saints a year ago, but they still haven’t come to an end with it. Christians from Macedonia took this initiative and they acted very quickly. Apostle Paul sent Titus and another brother known by the churches to finish this collection in the church from Corinth, so that they may go and take these collected goods to the saint who were suffering and needed them. Here are some practical advice Apostle Paul gave the Corinthians concerning the participation on the support of the saints, or how to bestow charity:
As there was the desire, so there may be the completion of it
There is a proverb spread among our people, that says: “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” This proverb becomes true, especially when there is a matter of charity. So many people had so nice intentions that remained unaccomplished. Here is why Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians:
I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it. But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability. (2 Corinthians 8:10–11)(NASB)
Give with readiness
Don’t bestow charity because you are imposed by someone or by some circumstances, or because you are manipulated by someone, or because you do not want to seem worse than others. Help people only when you do this with all your heart and with readiness.
For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. (2 Corinthians 8:12)(NASB)
Give according to your resources
No one is expected to give what he doesn’t have, but it is not good when one has some goods that he could share with others, but he remains unfruitful. God waits from everyone to give according to their ability, according to their resources.
For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality– at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; as it is written, “HE WHO gathered MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH, AND HE WHO gathered LITTLE HAD NO LACK.” (2 Corinthians 8:13–15)(NASB)
The Apostle makes a reference to the times when Israel were eating manna in the desert. Every morning they had to collect manna that was enough for a day, and during the Sabbath they could collect manna for two days. One who collected more had to share with those who didn’t manage to gather as much. It happened so a day, another day could happen inversely. In this way, diligent people helped one another and no one lacked. God urges us to do this way all the days of our lives and to bring Him glory in this way.
Translated by Felicia Djugostran