2 Corinthians 8:12-15
We’re two-and-a-half months away from Halloween, but my three boys always started plotting their costumes and trick-or-treating logistics about this time of the year. It was one of their favorite holidays, mostly because of the great haul of candy they brought in. They would feast on it that night, then ration it until the next candy-filled holiday. My favorite moment of Halloween night was when they came home, dumped the candy out of their bags, and began sorting and trading it among themselves. It was weird how they could all three go together and come back with such a different assortment. Each had his favorite and would sometimes be willing to trade in order to get more of it. Occasionally the negotiations would get tense if one of them was being unreasonable, but because each son had his own favorites and piles of candy to trade with, there was usually harmonious passing back and forth of Reese’s cups, Snickers, Kit Kats, and more. In the end, they would count their piles, achieve a balance of quantity among the three of them, and feel satisfied with their accumulations.
What made Halloween such an easy sharing experience? Their present abundance (v. 14). Chocolate was no longer a scarce resource. It was plentiful in all its varieties. Sharing was not threatening because he who had many Twix could trade for Reese’s cups so that everyone had what they needed. It hints at the kind of fair balance I think Paul is talking about in his letter to the Corinthian believers. In asking them to give to the church at Jerusalem, he reminds them that they have more than enough and the Jerusalem Christians have too little. Giving, Paul says, is about achieving that fair balance. Once we’ve sorted our resources into piles of our favorites, perhaps we too will have an abundance from which to give.
What can you give from your abundance and how might God use it?
God, thank you for providing abundant resources. Help us share so that those resources are balanced fairly, and everyone has what they need. Amen.