Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 8

Different meanings of ‘eager’

2 Corinthians 8:22

In chapter 8, Paul frequently refers to people who are eager. In the Greek language, the word is SPOUDAIOS. We think that, each time, Paul uses that word with a slightly different meaning. However, Paul probably considered that, each time, people were acting with the same kind of attitudes. Christians were eager, and Paul wanted very much to encourage that.

So, in verse 7, Corinth’s Christians were eager. They showed that attitude when they dealt with the problems in their church. Previously, it was a matter of shame for them; they had neglected to act against a church member who was carrying out wrong sex acts*. However, when they acted, they acted firmly. They were anxious, that is, eager, to deal with the matter.

In verse 8, the reference is to Macedonia’s Christians. They were eager to give. In other words, they had a strong desire to give (verses 1-5).

Then, in verses 16-17, Titus was eager. In verse 17, Paul uses the word simply to mean that he wanted to go quickly to Corinth. That is perhaps the simplest meaning of the word ‘eager’. In verse 16, the word is about his attitude towards Corinth’s Christians. Titus had an eager desire to help them, in other words, he cared very much about them.

Finally, in verse 22, Paul describes a man who would collect Corinth’s gifts for Judea’s poor Christians. Paul considered the man very suitable for that task. He was suitable because he was so eager. That is, he was eager to do what is right. In other words, he was careful.

In all these situations, Paul approved of Christians who were eager to serve God. They all acted because of their strong desire to serve God. The result was that they were careful, or generous, or firm in their actions. In each situation, they gladly did what God wanted.

Next part: Men whose lives bring honour to Christ (8:23)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.