by Christopher Harbin

Generosity Principles
Christopher B. Harbin
2 Corinthians 9:1-15

We don't generally like to talk much about financial giving. We may address it in general terms, but we like to keep it as a private matter, clouding it as personal, and keeping the details of our financial lives out of public discussions. As churches, we may track the giving of individuals to offer them a tax receipt at the en of the year, but we rarely discuss the principles behind our giving, why we give, how much we give, and how much we should give. Frankly, it is an uncomfortable topic, partly so because the whole issue of finances is a private of taboo topic in our society. It is not taboo to say that we do not earn enough, but it is taboo to speak of the details of our economic lives. Why must issues of economics remain taboo in the setting of the church? Could it be that we take too much direction on economics from out culture and fail to look at what the Bible has to say on the issues?

My first reaction to Paul's words here in 2nd Corinthians 9 is that he seems to ''protest too much.'' He writes that he does not need to tell the Corinthians anything about their giving to the poor in Palestine, and yet he spends more than one chapter on the issue of the collection. He lauds them for their enthusiastic initiative to begin their collection of funds for Palestine, but then seems overly concerned that maybe their enthusiasm was short lived and never made an impact on their actual giving. It is almost like he expected the believers to be very enthusiastic about the project, but did not really expect they would come through when it came down to making actual donations.

It is hard to assess Paul's motives from two thousand years distance in time. It does appear, however, that Paul had used the Corinthian enthusiasm as a communications piece to encourage believers throughout the region to join in the project. He appears to be concerned now over whether the believers in Corinth had actual ...

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