Scripture Reading: Isaiah 10:20-13:22 / 2 Corinthians 8:16-9:5 / Psalm 105:37-45
What kind of effect do you have on people? Is it positive or negative, powerful or subtle? Some like to think they have a great deal of impact on people while others feel their impact is insignificant. In reality, our influence upon others is greater than we believe.
Take for instance, a grumpy uncle who complains and finds fault with everyone in the family…that is one uncle that we minimize contact with or avoid altogether. Our dispositions have a drastic effect upon others and greatly affect the atmosphere. If we find ourselves critical, impatient or judgmental we will find our relationships are strained, minimal or nonexistent. The opposite can also be said; we will gravitate to those who are encouraging, uplifting and positive.
Attitude is everything. Paul praises the Corinthians for their generous attitude. The Corinthian church had a giving heart and spirit. They were quick to help others who were in need. Paul spoke highly of them and used them as a Godly example of servant hood. They not only gave to those in their local congregation and community but they reached beyond their borders to minister to other churches, places and people.
Their generous attitude was impacting and influential. It had a powerful effect upon the body of Christ that Paul stated, “… your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.” (2 Corinthians 9:2) Others were inspired to generosity because of the Corinthian’s example. Enthusiasm is contagious – it spreads, motivates and builds excitement in others.
Paul understood the Corinthian’s generosity would face attacks from without and from within. There was always the danger of greed, selfishness or fear from within and the economical climate from without. Because of this, Paul sent leaders to encourage them so their committed gift would be, “a generous gift, not one grudgingly given. (9:5)
A generous heart will give witness to the faithfulness and compassion of God. We need to be quick to help, faithful to serve and generous to give - God certainly blesses a cheerful giver. May our giving reflect the generous heart of God who has given us all things!