From Paul’s perspective, God has the power to provide us with “more than enough of every kind of grace.” That is to say, we always have everything we need and more than enough for every kind of good work (vv.7-8).
In other words, shame and guilt don’t work as ways to motivate people! It doesn’t work to shame or guilt people to give, and it doesn’t work to give out of shame or guilt either. When we give out of such emotions, we are not giving out of a cheerful, or a blessed, heart.
Yet, we also don’t want to give out of obligation either. Giving is not simply a matter of duty. It is not about paying our dues, and it is not about supporting a church budget. Yes, we have increased the budget in 2023 by 3%, but giving encompasses more than that: Giving comes out of gratitude for God’s abundant blessings.
That’s the focus: on God; when we focus on God, the gifts follow! Indeed, all that we need, as a congregation, is right here. It really is! All the gifts, all the treasures, all the talents, are here! God has given them!
As we share in gratitude, how may we express our faith generously? What might that look like for our ministry and in our community? Where is God seeking to break through and touch our hearts so that blessings will flow?
As we celebrate a season of thanksgiving, may we also show our gratitude as well!
Rev. Dr. Andy Kinsey