DVGenerosity EncouragedAt the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality. —2 Corinthians 8:14Think of an instance when you are challenged to put the interest of others before yourself. How does it make you feel? What can you learn from the experience?
How is putting the needs of others before your own a quality of Christ's love? How is the help of others in times of need a channel of Christ's love?
In this world, equality is synonymous with justice, fairness, and the "rights" of individuals. We expect that as a member of society, each of us is entitled to the same opportunities and the same privileges as any other. When we are deprived of equality, we often feel cheated out of something that is rightfully ours. It is no wonder that we harbor discontentment in our hearts and that we tend to see the cup as half empty rather than half full. In a world where the motto is "survival of the fittest," equality becomes our protection and our security: it gives us a chance to get a break out of life. We rely on it when we should be relying on God.
The concept of equality that the Bible would have us learn is very different from equality as it is understood in society. In the Bible, equality is synonymous with generosity and the art of giving. While the world teaches us to look out for ourselves, the Bible teaches us to look out for each other, to admonish and to encourage one another with love and mercy. Equality, as Paul shares with us in 2 Corinthians, is to put the needs of our fellow brothers and sisters before our own. It is associated with giving rather than receiving: it is to learn the joy of sharing when we have plenty and to be humble enough to accept the kindness of others when we ourselves are in need. It is an equality of experiencing the love of Christ, to know that He died for all of us so that we might equally share in His love. Therefore, as He first loved us, so must we love one another; as He was generous with us, so must we learn to be equally generous with each other.
We are not all strong at the same time. That is the dynamism of the Christian faith, and the dialogue of love. We give when we have plenty and meekly appreciate the plenteousness of others in our time of need. Therefore, we never need too much while we follow Christ. We just need enough so that we may always be satisfied in the Lord. Then, in our contentment we may learn generosity, to know to cherish one another in Christ Jesus, and very importantly, to give thanks to the Lord.
"As it is written: 'He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.'" (2 Cor 8:15)