People hate it when you start talking about money. They say it’s because it’s too personal. But, honestly, I think it’s because we’re selfish and we want to keep our money to spend on us. Today’s reading (2 Corinthians 8) really wrecks that.
When a person gives their life to Jesus and He comes in and takes over, that person should change. And part of the change is with selfishness and with money. There are Christians reported on in this chapter who are begging for the chance to give money. Why? Because they put God first and others before themselves. And we’re taught that that is God’s will, so if that report couldn’t describe us, we are clearly outside of God’s will.
And this is why we’re challenged to excel at giving. Not just to give, or even give generously, but to excel at giving generously, to be great at it.
And the scary part, for those of us who don’t excel at giving, is that we’re taught that this is the test of whether our love for God and others is sincere. Lots of people say they love God and others. Poll an audience at a taping of Oprah, everyone will say they love God and others. But if you want to find out if they really do, one of the key ways is to look at their checkbooks. And, whether we like it or not, the same is true for us. Is your love sincere? Is it like Jesus’ love? Test one is check your checkbook.