2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Here’s the point. If you’re a stingy investor, you’ll never get much of a return. But if you invest a lot, you’ll get a lot back. So each of you needs to contribute what’s genuinely you, not what someone else tells you to. God’s looking for unfettered generosity. God will provide more than enough of what you need. And, since you have everything you need, you’re free to share it freely to do great work.
Like it says in the psalm:
God invests everywhere, even in the poor.
God’s justice is eternal.
God supplies food to eat with enough extra to invest in the future. And God will give you plenty to invest, so you can be increasingly magnanimous, too. The best way to become rich is to be generous – and we will be sure to thank God for you. Our ministry takes care of many believers, and in addition, gushes with thanksgiving to God. When you invest in our ministry, you prove your loyalty to God and your commitment to Jesus by sharing with them and others. And, they also will pray and care for you because of God’s having blessed you. Thank God for this indescribable opportunity!
Paul is pitching his own ministry here, of course. But even as such, it’s a pretty good reminder that if you have what you need, it’s an occasion for gratitude.
And if you happen to have more than just what you need to get by, then it’s an occasion not just for gratitude, but for expressing your gratitude through generosity.
Unlike Paul, I’m not going to tell you how to express your gratitude or generosity. But Paul is right to say that such occasions are tremendous opportunities. Not every investment is successful in the way we hope it might be. But the general principle is still true: you can’t expect to make a profit without some putting in some effort.
And, while effort is hard, it doesn’t have to be burdensome. Working hard at something you love is another indescribable opportunity to be thankful for.
It might just be another definition of “unfettered generosity.”
[On a personal note: I’m thankful for the opportunity to work on the Scarlet Letter Bible and to share it with you. It’s hard work. And I love it. And I’m equally grateful that anyone reads it. And that you’re reading it now. To you, I say, quite simply, Thank you.]