2 Corinthians 8:8–15 (NKJV)

8 I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

10 And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; 11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. 12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.

13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14 but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. 15 As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”

2 Corinthians 8:8-15

Paul continues his discussion of benevolence and generosity by describing the rationale for it all. The example we must follow is that of Jesus Christ, who became poor, even to the point of death, in order to make it possible for us to become rich. This richness is not necessarily in the monetary possessions of this life, but rich spiritually, that we might inherit the riches of a life in Christ and an eternity in His presence. He then instructs that having an intention and starting in the completion of it is not enough. One must complete what they started if they are to be pleasing to God. God does not reward the things we plan, but the things we finish. Finally, Paul addresses the lack that may result from giving sacrificially. It is not intended that one should suffer for the sake of another’s blessing, but rather that when one suffers, another supplies their need, and then when the other has a need, the one will supply their need.

This speaks to complementary grace. Complementary angles fit together to form a 90 degree angle. This relationship means that they complement one another, forming a whole from the two parts. The body of Christ is similar in nature, where one part supplies what the other part needs and vice versa. Be a complementary part for another member of the body. Churches should complement one another, not compete against one another. If this is a body, let’s work together to complete one another’s parts. This helps us make the whole stronger than its individual parts. Remember a time when you were in need and someone helped you, then pay it forward by helping another one in need. This is the way of the Christian, the church, and the kingdom!

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