Monday, 19 October 2015
Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; 2 Corinthians 9:1
Paul, after having brought up the subject of Titus and his traveling companions, returns to the subject of the collection of the gift which he had been speaking of. His words, “Now concerning the ministering to the saints,” are speaking of this very thing. “The saints” are those saints in Jerusalem who are in need.
Concerning this gift, he says that “it is superfluous for me to write to you.” He is tactfully avoiding a possibility of hurting their feelings by directly reminding them of their obligation. Instead, the word “superfluous” is used to let them feel that he knows they have committed to give and will also fulfill in the collection of the gift. Should he not say that his words were superfluous, they may feel he doubted their intent to fulfill the promise previously made.
This will become evident in the next verse. Paul is masterfully writing them to remind them of what they have promised, and yet he is claiming that no reminder is necessary. He understands this type of approach is both wise and necessary. The promise has faded in the minds of the Corinthians and he is bringing it back to a prominent place now that the time for the collection has arrived.
Life application: To make a vow and not fulfill it is to lie concerning the vow. Speaking truthfully to avoid lying is not just a command found in the Law of Moses which has now been set aside in Christ. Lying is forbidden in the New Testament as well (see Colossians 3:9 for example). Think your words through carefully at all times and be sure to perform what your lips have spoken, if you cannot then do so, then be sure to fully explain to the one whom you have made the promise to why you must retract your words.
Lord Jesus, help us to speak the truth, to perform the vows which we have spoken, and to be seen as people of integrity so that You will not be diminished in the eyes of those who evaluate You based on what we say and do. Grant us discernment in how we present ourselves and in the words we speak to others. In the end, what they see in us is how they will then evaluate You. May our conduct and integrity lead many to You. Amen.