The word of the day is “abound.” People give to those in need with various attitudes and for many reasons. But we learn in today’s reading of 2 Cor. 9:6-11, that we should give aid generously and with singleness of purpose. In this passage, St. Paul speaks about his collection for relief of the fellow Christians who are starving in Jerusalem. The Apostle compares giving to the needy to sowing see ds, and he says that the harvest depends on the sower’s liberality (vs. 6).
Abounding in the Grace of Giving
Note that God provides the seeds in the first place (vs. 9). The Almighty, who is rich in mercy (Eph. 2:4), has already made the faithful in Corinth rich in spiritual things. They now about in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all “diligence” and in their love for Paul (2 Cor. 8:7). Now they need to abound in one more thing, the grace of giving. (vs. 6)
When something abounds, it overflows with excess. Paul’s flock need not worry about having enough to share, for God “sows bountifully.” He sows “blessing upon blessing” (vs. 6) so that the believers would have an ample surplus for their needs and the needs of others (2 Cor 9:8). Paul promises that the result of their generous sowing will be a superabundant harvest that satisfies the hunger of the poor and inspires many thanksgivings to God.
Sowing Mercy Like God Sows Grace
Thus, we learn that we should sow mercy just like God freely scatters abroad His grace. Paul teaches that God will “enrich” generous givers for their “liberality” (vs. 11), that is, their sincerity and singleness of purpose (Strong’s #572, 34). The God of Providence cares for His Creation for no other reason than mercy. When we give to those in need with the sole intention of benefiting them, we sow kindness in the same way that God sows His benevolence.
There are many reasons to give: To feel good, to support a cause, to win admiration, to gain a write off on our taxes, to do our duty, to promote justice, or to bargain with God. We can give out of guilt, pity, or impulse or because we can’t say “no,” or because our friends are doing it. But a test of our motives is this: if we would know that we would not gain a reward for our charity before we opened our wallet, would we do it? Our love should reflect the love of God. And His love needs no other reason.