Thursday, 8 October 2015
…but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. 2 Corinthians 8:14
The last words that Paul said concerned the state which existed between those in Corinth and those in Jerusalem. It was not Paul’s intent that one party should be burdened while another party was eased. Instead, he now explains that he is looking for a state of equality. If equality exists, then neither is burdened. As the Corinthians were not in a state of need, as shown in the words “now at this time your abundance,” they would be able to supply in the lack (the state of need) of those in Jerusalem.
Noting that this is appropriate, he further explains “that their abundance also may supply your lack.” Although unstated, it may be that he was thinking on the lines of material blessings from one and spiritual blessings from the other. This idea is nicely stated in Romans 15 –
“It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.” Romans 15:27
As those in Jerusalem had supplied spiritual blessings to those in Corinth, it was only right that those in Corinth therefore supply material blessings to those in Jerusalem. Whether this is his thought, or whether he was looking forward to a time when the tables were turned and Corinth would be in material need cannot be stated with certainty, but Paul is giving a summary of what is right and proper between brothers when needs exist. He is writing in hopes “that there may be equality.”
It is important to understand that he is writing about equality within the Christian community. He is not writing about global equality where the hard work of those who are diligent to get up and produce each day is robbed from them in order to pay for those who are indolent. He is also not writing about Christians being forced to pay for muslims who have evil intent towards those who would help them. The state of today’s world, where leaders of both governments and religions are purposely robbing from Mike to pay for Manuel or Muhammed, is unbiblical and harmful to the proper functioning of a society.
Life application: Don’t be fooled by pope or president that you have no right to what you have earned. Tell them to go earn their own money and pass that on to those they wish while you will be willing to help your Christian brothers or whoever else you feel it is appropriate to tend to.
Heavenly Father, help me to be good and kind towards my brothers who are in need. Let my heart be willing to help them when times are tough – both in a material and in a spiritual sense. When I have abundance, give me the desire to share in gifts which will ease their burdens and meet their needs according to Your wisdom and not my own. You have blessed me with ability, abundance, and spare time; let me not withhold these when my brothers are in need. Amen.