For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
Thoughts for Today:In our passage today, Paul is saying that it would be embarrassing to him personally, if he found out the Corinthians had given nothing, especially after he had been boasting about their generosity. In other words, their giving would be a testimony of their obedience, heart and generosity of spirit.
I think this same thing (as evidenced by generosity) can be said about a congregation's spiritual condition in general. Abundant giving is an indication or test of the health of believers and their churches. If the giving is generous (based upon financial resources), then the church typically has great spiritual passion and enthusiasm. On the other hand, if a church is barely alive spiritually, then the giving is virtually non-existent.
I think it is also important to note that the Corinthians' promise to give is not an obligation they owe to Paul, only to serve as an example for the Macedonians, nor even a responsibility to support the Jerusalem Church. Any offering that is made, whether personally or collectively, is always between the giver and the Lord. Therefore, their desire to generously give is a pledge to the Lord, not a promise to people.
Questions to Ponder:Is the Lord pleased with the way you manage the resources He has given you? How would He change your heart? What adjustment is He calling you to make today? Will you respond to His will?