Wednesday, 14 October 2015
…avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us—
2 Corinthians 8:20
This verse explains why the person is going along with Titus “who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift.” It was Paul’s explicit intent to avoid any hint of impropriety in the giving of this gift. The word for “avoiding this” is stelló. It is described by Vincent’s Word Studies –
“The verb, which occurs only here and 2 Thessalonians 3:6, means to arrange or provide for. As preparation involves a getting together of things, it passes into the meaning of collect, gather: then contract, as the furling of sails; so, to draw back, draw one’s self away.”
Paul used this particular word to show that he wanted to avoid even the smallest hint that he or anyone else would dream of misusing what had been so faithfully entrusted into their care. The thing he most wanted to do in this was to avoid the chance that “anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us.”
The word translated as “lavish gift” is a word unique to the New Testament, hadrotés. It comes from hadros meaning “plumpness.” It then gives the idea of lavish generosity. What had already been prepared by those in Macedonia, and what was hoped for from those in Corinth, was to be a sizeable amount. Paul wanted everything concerning its handling to be done with the greatest care.
But Paul’s word concerning the “lavish gift” may also be used to continue to encourage the Corinthians on to greater giving. Remember that he has not yet received anything but a promise from them. Now he is mentally preparing them for fulfilling that promise.
Life application: Gifts to a church or ministry must be handled with the highest care. Any hint of impropriety will cause those not in the church to question Christian honesty. Those in the church may become disheartened and even walk away from the fellowship as well. Pray that those who receive from you will be scrupulous in how they handle what they have received.
Lord, if You endured the cross for a sinner like me, then surely I can endure hardships and difficulties for the sake of Your name when I interact with others. Help me to forgive easily, be careful in my words of counsel, and to act uprightly in my actions towards others. Help me Lord to be a person who will bring credit and honor to Your wonderful name. Amen.