Every morning while I get into my car, I have tried to remind myself that every breath I breathe is grace. It’s so easy to go about my day, not taking a moment to slow down to realize that I don’t deserve any of the countless blessings that God has generously given to me. Everything in this life is a gift that belongs to God. It is ultimately God’s grace through the gift of Jesus that should transform our hearts to then be generous to others.
Paul wrote to the church of Corinth in order to remind them of the grace they had been given and then encouraged them to give generously in response. He points out that the churches in Macedonia, whom have been greatly afflicted and tested, remain joyful and generous in their giving. Although they do not have much to give, the grace that they have received through Christ has transformed their hearts to love and give freely. (2 Corinthians 8:1-3)
I have been overwhelmed by the number of blessings God has given me in the past few months. Realizing where I was at spiritually even just a few months ago, I am fully aware of how undeserving I am of these gifts. It is also important to note that the biggest blessings have been through those who have loved and given to me so freely. They inspire me to do the same.
Paul goes on to encourage the church of Corinth to excel in the act of grace. He writes:
“I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.” (2 Corinthians 8:8)
Reading this verse struck me. The grace I show to others is a reflection of my love for them. I am ultimately able to love others genuinely through the grace that has been given to me. Next, Paul says:
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Jesus has taken on our sin and has given us his holiness in order that we might have a restored relationship with the living God. We are called to reflect this selflessness. We must realize that all we truly have is Christ. Everything is a gift of grace that belongs to God. We should be willing to love others by giving generously. How else are we capable of love? I have personally been challenged by this passage to be more giving of my time and to trust God through my tithing. I have been challenged, knowing that the Gospel calls me to love others and to give freely, just as Jesus has done for me.