Characteristics of a Generous Spirit
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
When we hear of a need, we may desire to give—but then our bank account convinces us doing so is impossible. Although we realize that generosity should characterize believers, sometimes it seems the only way to be generous is to be wealthy.
The Christians in Macedonia prove that this is not the case. Using them as a model of generosity, Paul motivated the Corinthians to follow through on their original commitment to support the church in Jerusalem. Through the example of the Macedonian churches in today’s reading, we see what characterizes a generous spirit.
A generous person is sensitive to the needs of others. Although the Macedonian believers were suffering from affliction, their own troubles didn’t prevent them from feeling compassion for the needs of fellow Christians (2 Cor. 8:2).
A generous spirit sees needs as opportunities. Far from dreading needs, they actually begged Paul to let them help support the saints in Jerusalem (2 Cor. 8:4).
Liberality flows from a life surrendered to God. Before offering their gifts, these believers first gave themselves to the Lord in obedience to His will (2 Cor. 8:5).
Generosity is not an emotion but a decision. The Corinthian church was also moved to contribute, but they may have discovered what we often do—that “readiness to desire” generosity is not the same as “completion of it” (2 Cor. 8:11).
A generous spirit has nothing to do with how much money we have, but rather how much of us the Lord has. When we are fully surrendered to Him, He provides the grace we need to share whatever we have—whether time, treasure, or talent.
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