Thursday, 29 October 2015
…while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.
2 Corinthians 9:11
These words are connected in thought to the previous verse. Taken together, they read –
“Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.”
Paul noted the multiplication of the seed in order to “increase the fruits of your righteousness.” This meant that what they earned would be sufficient to be spread out to others in the doing of good deeds. In addition to that, he now adds in that not only should others prosper from their sowing, but that they should likewise be “enriched in everything.” It is looking to an increase for them as well.
However, the increase to them again has the purpose of “all liberality.” As they increase, they should become all the more charitable in their giving. The idea is that it is God who blesses and the blessings that we are given are not to be secreted away with no useful purpose in mind. Rather, they are to be shared so that others may be blessed as well.
Paul certainly has the recipients of the intended gift in mind. The saints in Jerusalem were in need and in the Corinthian’s abundance there was a chance to help that need. In this, it would cause “thanksgiving through us to God.” God is glorified through the thanks of those who receive such assistance. In the end, it all came from Him and so praise and thanks should always be directed to Him for what He does for His people.
These verses obviously have to be considered in light of the human condition. There are those who have come on hard times. When this occurs, we should be willing to tend to them and help them out. This is the case with the saints in Jerusalem. There are also those who are simply unwilling to get up and help themselves.
It would be contradictory to think that someone who is unwilling to work should constantly receive what others have worked for. The premise here is that God blesses us to bless others. If God blesses someone through our efforts, then that person should realize where their blessing has come from and endeavor to follow in the same path. However, if they are lazy and unwilling to put forth their own effort, then they cannot be who the Lord is speaking of here.
These verses simply cannot be used to justify wealth redistribution to the indolent and worthless. They need to change their lifestyle, or they need to continue to wallow in the mud which they are unwilling to leave.
Life application: Today, think of someone who has fallen on hard times and think about how you can bless them in their need. Let them know that they are not alone in their trials, but that you are there with them. Such encouragement may be just what they need during their moment of darkness.
Lord God, it is a tough world and there are a lot of folks who are facing great need. Help me to recognize their need and to help them out in a way which will let them know that they are not alone in their trial. Whether through a gift, a word of encouragement, or a prayer with them, help me to be one who is willing to be with them in the dark valley and who will stay with them until they again reach the mountaintop. Amen.