“But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in the love we have kindled in you, see that you also excel in this grace of giving.  8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake, he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2Corinthians 8:7—9)


            The believers to whom Paul wrote these words to were Corinthian Christians who were excelling and doing well in everything.  In faith, they were faithful; in speech, they were articulate; in knowledge, they were knowledgeable; and in love, they were excellent.  Paul, however, encouraged them to also excel in the grace of giving.  Giving is nothing hard to do, but it depends on where, what, and to whom we give.  We mostly give to ourselves, our desires, our plans, our savings, and usually, everything with the arrows pointing inward to self. 

            We give to convenience stores for ourselves.  We give to our landlords; it is usually for ourselves.  We give to our vacations, and yes, it is about ourselves.  So, Paul encourages believers, as much as they excel in everything about the faith they were doing so well, to also EXCEL IN THE GRACE OF GIVING.  The grace of giving is toward others who are underserving our own hard-earned money.  The idea of the grace of giving is a sacrificial love offering for those who will not pay us back.  Paul encouraged the believers in Corinthians to give to other churches in desperate need of monetary help.

            Paul said he was NOT COMMANDING them to give.  He was not forcing them to give anything if they didn’t want to.  But he is testing the sincerity of their love by comparing it to the earnestness of others.  See, people can give without love, but you cannot love without giving.   Love is the foundation and the true motivation for giving.  Paul points to the examples of Jesus.

             “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake, he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”  This is the foundation of faithful giving; it is built on grace and love.  Christ didn’t have to die for me, but he did.  For my sake, he bankrupted heaven to make me rich.  He graced my life with his life.  He gave everything that heaven has so I can have the riches of heaven in me.  My giving must be done from this truth that Jesus modeled for me. 

            Many people give because it’s good for their cooperation image.  Many give to earn praise and reputation.  Many give because of a sense of guilt to society.  There are many reasons people give.  But Jesus did not give things. He gave himself.  For the followers of Jesus, the grace of giving is giving all that we have to Jesus for his purpose in meeting the needs of others.  Through our poverty because of the things we give away, others will be praising God because of our generosity and excelling in the grace of giving. 


            I want to live my life with the grace of giving attitude.  I am reminded to follow the examples of my Lord to live a life out of love and sacrifice to help others.            I also know that I can give without love, but I cannot love without giving.  I want to share because I love doing it.  I want to give because it honors Jesus.  I want to provide not only financially but other areas that will help lift someone out of poverty and enrich their lives daily. 


            Jesus, teach how to love and excel in the grace of giving.  Not just giving financially but also giving in such a way that will lift others from their poverty to a place where they are helped. Thank you for reminding me of how you gave yourself for me so I can have all the riches of eternity.  I thank you for your love and grace.  Teach me to be ever like you in living sacrificially for your people.  I ask that you be glorified in my life.  Amen!