Fair Balance in the Body

Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.

I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 10 And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something— 11 now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. 12 For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have. 13 I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between 14 your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. 15 As it is written,

“The one who had much did not have too much,
    and the one who had little did not have too little.” – 2 Corinthians 8:7-15

 

2 Corinthians 8 is a call to Christian charity. Paul entreats the Corinthian believers to give generously to the fund he is collecting for Jerusalem Christians who are suffering in poverty. The Apostle appeals to the incredible sacrifice of Jesus himself who “though he was rich” became “poor” so that all who believe in him might become spiritually rich through salvation. In all of this, Paul reminds the Corinthians that this is not meant to put them in a financial hard place, but instead to create a “fair balance” amongst the body of Christ as a whole. As verse 15 states, Paul desires that no one have either “too much” or “too little.”

The call to generous, sacrificial charity is just as relevant to the global Christian community today as it was in days of the early church. After all, if the world sees that the Church embraces a system in which some have plenty of resources while others go without their basic needs being met, what kind of “good news” should they expect to find there? Instead Christian must embrace the equality we all have in Christ by extending our “surplus” (both spiritual and material) to all of our sisters and brothers. May we seek and discover ways to share our blessings with those in need in the body of Christ that our generosity might grow the Kingdom of God all over the world.