Verse: 2 Corinthians 8:6-8
6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you[a]—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.

Twice in this small collection of verses, Paul refers to generosity as an act of grace. I’m not sure I had ever thought of it quite in that way. But when you think about Christ’s act of ultimate generosity to us, it makes complete sense.

Paul mentions a previous time of generosity here, when he says that the Corinthians had made a beginning. He says that they really are exemplary in all areas, and calls them to finish well what they had started. It’s a familiar idea to me, that feeling of starting strong and then losing momentum, whether it’s a project around the house, or a New Year’s resolution, keeping my workspace organized, or what have you. Apparently the Corinthians had made a good start, and Paul is encouraging them to not drop the ball. We are also encouraged to keep up the good work – to continue on being generous. Just as Christ had given us such grace, we are to emulate him and extend the grace of generosity to others. It has nothing to do with being deserved, rather it is because we are called to do it. It’s another way that we can be like Jesus. Lately that has taken on a deeper meaning for me. “Be like Jesus” can feel very glib and trite, but I have been reflecting more recently on how being like him can truly help us to know Him better. And that, to me, is neither glib nor trite, but really the highest of goals.

Jesus, you are the example of generosity that we are to imitate. Would you convict our hearts of the ways in which we need to be generous? Help us to desire what you desire, so that we can truly give with joy. Amen.

Author: Emily Costa