2 Corinthians 8:9-11
Writing about the incarnation of God in human form is typically reserved for Advent and Christmas, but Paul reminds the Corinthian believers just how selfless and radical Jesus was by taking on human form. We don’t often see that kind of sacrifice today.
Chuck Feeney, founder of Duty Free Shoppers Group, is one such example. He and his wife, Helga, gave away more than $8 billion, signing over all his assets to their self-created Atlantic Philanthropies Foundation on Thanksgiving Day, 1984. What makes this giving even more remarkable is that he managed to keep it quiet for many years, living with Helga in a modest apartment in San Francisco and continuing to give away most of their income. In a 2018 interview with the Irish Times, Feeney said, “It is their call what the rich do with their money, but they will get more satisfaction giving it when living than when dead. Besides, it’s a lot more fun.”
While admirable, Feeney didn’t quite go as far as Jesus, who not only gave up heaven but lived in poverty with nothing more than the clothes on his back. Jesus also ultimately gave up his life. Hopefully, we will never be faced with that decision, but we can choose to model our generosity after Christ. As in all our attempts to follow in his footsteps, our generosity will not match our Lord’s, but God continually inspires and offers us opportunities to practice the kind of generosity that will affect others and make our lives joyful.
If we modeled the generosity of Jesus, what would we give up and what joy would we experience?
Selfless God, your life in human form reminds us how to live and how to give. Help us give all of ourselves away so that you may be glorified and your work on earth accomplished. Amen.