Read 2 Corinthians 8: 1-7
This passage puts our giving in proper perspective.
First, giving is a God-empowered opportunity, not merely a duty, an institutional expectation, or something to dread. We cannot fail to love, because love received prompts love in return. We give because we have been given to.
Secondly, the Macedonians were empowered to give "even beyond their means" in the midst of affliction. The life of faith does not seal us off from distress and difficulty. Grace and joy in times of trial, far from being signs of God's absence, are instead sure signs of God's presence and power.
Finally, Paul notes that the Macedonians "gave themselves first to the Lord, and by the will of God, to us." Giving is a spiritual issue. It reflects the health of our relationship with God. Unless we give ourselves to God first and fundamentally, our sharing with others will be meager and joyless.
As the churches of Macedonia were lifted up as a model for the Corinthian church, so too they become an example for us. The goal is for us to excel in generosity as we seek to excel in other endeavors.
If you are a new reader, I do not blog over the weekend. I will, however still be reading and praying. See you Monday.