now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints, for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of macedonia, saying that achaia has been ready since last year. and your zeal has stirred up most of them. but I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be. otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident. so I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction. [2 cor 9:1-5]


the church of corinth may not have needed paul to remind them of their generosity like his words said. or, paul could have been challenging them through giving them the benefit of the doubt. he spoke as if they had the intentions of giving in a way that would be an example to the region.

when you are thinking and operating as if your brothers and sisters in Christ have the best possible intentions, they will likely live up to it. the corinthians had the opportunity to prove paul right through their generosity. paul takes the opportunity to stir up to love and good works (hebrews 10:24).


giving the benefit of the doubt holds others accountable, without harming the relationship.


with the relationship paul had with the corinthians, he knew that while there is a time to directly call out, that wasn’t what would be best in this moment. paul still holds the corinthians accountable because he could have had someone from corinth bring the gift to him; however, there is a greater level of accountability in him sending people that he trusts to be the ones who bring the gift.

it is necessary for us as believers to be dependable, showing up when we have committed to showing up, serving where we’re called to serve and giving where the Lord leads – to be accountable.


~ natalie schmidt