7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality. --2 Corinthians 8:7–9, 13-14 (NIV)
We give for these reasons:
- (v. 9) We see what Christ has done for us and want to respond in thanks.
- (v. 13) Our gifts bless other people in both physical ways (food, shelter, etc.) and spiritual ways (paying for a pastor, etc.)
- (v. 8) Money often is a thermometer of our love for God. If money is difficult to part with, it may mean that we trust in it more than we trust in God.
We DO NOT give for these reasons:
- We might earn favour with God. We are already made perfect in Jesus.
- We might show off our generosity to others. Jesus said, "when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do." (Matthew 6:2)