There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the LordÕs people. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be.
Thoughts for Today:In our passage today, Paul continues his teaching regarding giving with an affirmation of the Corinthians' intention to do good -- not necessarily their track record. Previously, they made a pledge to provide financial support for the struggling believers in Jerusalem. And it was this same commitment that inspired the Macedonians to give. Unfortunately, the Corinthians had not made good on their promise.
Like us, the Corinthians said they were willing, but Paul knew there had to be more than willingness. So what did he do? He sent men to help them prepare their offering. I think this is a good lesson for all of us. How so? Because too many of us fail to prepare to give, and therefore fall short of the need and our own desire. Preparation is perhaps the most important element of giving. Otherwise, we will almost always fail to meet the need with an appropriate gift. Specific instruction, regarding how to prepare our hearts and our finances to give, can often be an overlooked step in the process. Paul knew this, so he sent the brothers to guide and help them make certain their willingness was transformed into readiness.
Questions to Ponder:Is your willingness to give backed by your preparedness? If God presented a need today, could you step forward to provide tangible assistance? What do you need to do to make certain your finances are in order? Have you allocated both time and resources to serve the Lord at His request?