In 2 Corinthians 9:5-6, Paul uses the same word of the Greek language four times. That word is EULOGIA, which usually means a blessing. A blessing means a declaration of God’s goodness.
The first use of the word in verse 5, means simply a gift. That is, Paul says that Corinth’s Christians had promised their ‘blessing’. This gift will declare the goodness of God to the poor people who receive it. They will be very thankful to God because of it (verses 11 to 12).
In the second use, Paul explains that he does not want anyone to give merely as a duty, or from shame. Rather, he wants them freely and gladly to choose to give, with willing hearts. To express this idea, Paul contrasts a blessing with greedy attitudes. If a greedy person ever gives anything, he gives unwillingly. That is, he does not want to give. Perhaps he only gives because someone else with greedy attitudes has forced him to hand over his money. That is not how Christian gifts should be. They should be an act of love and blessing, a declaration of God’s goodness. A Christian gives because of his strong desire to show God’s goodness.
In verse 6, Paul uses the word ‘blessing’ twice in a word-picture about the harvest. A farmer, when he sows seeds, sows plentifully. We could say that he hands over his precious seeds generously. He is like someone who gives a generous gift gladly. Paul says that the farmer sows for ‘blessings’. He sows plentifully because he believes in the goodness of God.
The result is that the harvest is also plentiful. It is a great blessing; it shows the goodness of God. The sower and the people who gather the harvest then share together in their great joy*. They are very thankful to God for his great goodness. That is how Christian gifts should be.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.