2 Corinthians 8:5-6
Fundraising can be a complicated enterprise. Approaching people and asking them to give can range from the simple—shaking a plastic cup with change that indicates that you need and would appreciate any amount of money—to the complicated—cultivating donors with visits, meals, and events; presenting them with a case statement for making a gift to a particular cause; and securing a pledge for a specific amount through a written commitment. Having spent nearly 20 years of my career working in higher education and non-profit communications, I’m very familiar with the latter. The problem with the pledge model is that it’s easier to make a pledge than it is to fulfill it.
The believers in Jerusalem are in severe need. Paul is seeking an offering for them from the churches he founded or served. He sends Titus to Corinth to collect on the pledge that the believers there made to support the Christians in the Jerusalem church.
Making a pledge feels good. In the fundraising world, it garners you attention and special recognition. Fulfilling a pledge should feel even better. You are not only keeping your word, you are meeting a need and letting go of your money to benefit someone else. We have many opportunities for generous undertakings in our lives. The real test of our commitment is in completing them.
What are the generous undertakings in my life and which ones have I neglected to fulfill?
Generous God, bring to my mind all of the pledges I’ve made and help me to fulfill them, just as you have kept your pledges to me. Amen.