Sunday, October 19, 2014

If We Do Not Have As Much As Others Should We Still Give?

Should we give when we are not doing as well off as others who are rich? Can we use the excuse that we do not have as much as others, so we should not have to give? The Bible answers with an example of how some handled this question.

"In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity."  2 Corinthians 8:2

TRIALS
The people of Macedonia were going through trials; they may have experienced persecution, starvation, disease or some other hardship. The word in the original language for trial is the one that is used for purging of the type that is used to purify metal in a heated crucible until the metal melts and the impurities can be skimmed off of the top.

It wasn't just a hardship because it is described with the words, very and severe, this gives an emphasis that is unmistakable. They had it as bad as anyone ever could.

IN THE MIDST
They didn't wait for a sunny day to give, or for times to get better. They were in the middle of the trials.

EXTREME POVERTY
They were at the rock bottom; they were destitute, and they had no resources to help themselves.

JOY
The mention of their overflowing joy is not a mistake. They had joy in giving. Giving blesses us when we give. In this case giving was related to joy. Giving may have led to joy or joy may have led to giving- either way they go together.

The Macedonians were in the heat of an extreme hardship. If anyone had grounds to be exempt from giving it would have been them. They did not wait to win the lottery or for things to get better before they gave. They gave generously while they were in poverty. They did not see that poverty excused them from giving. More likely they saw that giving to have greater significance to God since it was done in hardship.

(c) Adron