2 Corinthians 8 and 9 is a brilliant passage of Scripture on what it means to be generous. We looked at this passage on Sunday and saw that it is the gospel of Jesus Christ (who was rich, yet became poor) that inspires and creates our generosity.
We saw that although generosity is linked to giving, it is far more. Generosity is a heart attitude, it is Christian giving. Christians should give generously. Indeed, it is possible to say the difference between giving and generosity is a calculator.
What I mean is: when we give (especially our tithe) we usually use a calculator. We work out how much we need to give. In many ways, this is a good and wise thing. But you can end up giving without being generous, and that is not generous Christian giving. Indeed, generosity is when you throw the calculator out of the window. You no longer ask ‘how much can I, or should I give? ‘, but rather, ‘what is the need, how can I bless someone?’. That was the Macedonian attitude – they gave what they could not give. Their giving came out of poverty – extreme poverty.
Now that is gospel soaked generosity.
John Stott, in his usual brilliant way, makes this comment on the passage:
‘Christian giving is spontanious, sacrificial, and symbolic.’