Paul had urged Corinthís Christians to give generously, to help the poor Christians in Judea. However, Paul did not want anyone to think that he had ordered them to give*. He wanted their gifts to be a genuine expression of their love. That is, both their love for God, and their love towards the people who would benefit from their gifts.
Christians do have a duty to give, both to poor people* and for Godís work*. They also have a duty to show love to everyone*, but especially towards other Christians*.
However, the attitude, with which they do these things, matters very much. So, even if someone gives the most generous gift without love, in Godís opinion, that gift achieves nothing*. If someone gives merely to impress other people or to satisfy their conscience, that is a wrong attitude*.
Paul urged Corinthís Christians to copy the correct attitudes of the Christians in Macedonia*. They gave eagerly, and they considered it an honour to give. They made themselves aware of the greatness of Godís grace (kindness) to them*. That caused them to desire that they could show something of Godís kindness to other people too. They saw no reason to be selfish when God had been so generous to them. Rather, they chose to show love, even towards the poor Christians in Judea whom they had never met. They knew that Judeaís Christians could never reward or repay them for their gifts*. They considered that they were really giving to God; their reward would be from him*.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.