2 Corinthians 9: Radical Generosity

When it comes to our finances, many of us have the mindset of “How much can I keep?” rather than “How much can I give away?” Whether consciously or unconsciously, we seek security in storing up wealth. While it is not wrong to have a savings account and provide for the future, Paul reveals that radical generosity is a mark of the Christian life.

Radical Generosity

During Paul’s missionary journeys, he was picking up a collection for the saints at Jerusalem. This money was going to support the material needs of the saints. The Macedonians had already given generously toward this cause, but Paul was concerned that the Corinthians would not fulfill their promises to give. For this reason, he reminded them that what we sow, we will reap: “Now I say this, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6).

Although we tend to look on giving as a burden, it is actually a privilege. We participate in God’s kingdom work by giving generously of our financial resources. The Spirit is at work in us and through us as we do so, transforming our financial resources into spiritual assets. Instead of storing up treasure for ourselves on earth, we store up treasures in heaven.

The Currency of Heaven

This radical generosity is an eternal investment. As God gives to us, so we are to give to others. We transmute the currency of the temporal into the currency of the eternal by investing in our relationships. People will last; money does not. God calls us to forgo our temporal interests cheerfully, giving for the sake of His kingdom.

The radical generosity in this passage is different than the prosperity gospel. The prosperity gospel has the idea of “name it and claim it”—you say you have something in Jesus’ name, and then it is yours, or you give in order to get. But true generosity has a focus on others, not on self, as well as a right view of giving God glory through our actions.

2 Corinthians 9: Radical Generosity

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