i coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. you yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. in all things i have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’ [acts 20:33-35]
have you ever been around someone who, when they contact you, always wants something? they want to sell you something. they want your advice. they want you to help them move. they want you to host a party for them. these aren’t negative things in and of themselves, but for someone to want something from you instead of just wanting to be with you, just hangout with you, is discouraging.
paul reassures the corinthians that he doesn’t want what they have and his main objective isn’t to get something from them. he continues to minister to them, encourage them… give to them.
paul knows that “for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” (1 timothy 6:10)
paul uses himself as an example of how to live and to lead. he leads from a heart of sacrifice and self denial. he leads from the example set forth by Jesus.
giving is an undeniable aspect of God’s character as we see that He “gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (john 3:16) God has created us, not because he needs us, but because he delights in us and so his glory can be shown. we are blessed to give and to experience this characteristic of God that leads us to worship.
~ natalie schmidt