Grant Osborne: “My pleasure!”

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At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality. 2 Corinthians 8:14

“Paul had several purposes in developing the collection for the poor:

(1) In verse 26 he calls the gift a “fellowship” (NIV, contribution) indicating a unity of sharing between the Gentile and Jewish factions in the church. The gift from the Gentiles was intended to bind them with the Jews in Jerusalem and to show their love.

(2) In verse 27 he develops the principle of sharing… This has often been called the principle of equality, as in 2 Corinthians 8:14. In other words, the Jews provide help from their spiritual heritage, and the Gentiles provide material help; in that way they find equality before the Lord…

(3) They would see the offering as the fulfillment of the promise that the Gentiles would bring gifts to Zion (Isaiah 2:2-4; 60:6-7, 11; Micah 4:13).

(4) It was an act of joy. Paul emphasizes that the Macedonians and Achaians were pleased to do it in 2 Corinthians 8:2… It simply cannot be stated any better than that. It was a pleasure to give!”

Grant Osborne in Romans (IVPNTC; Downers Grove: IVP, 2004) 397-398.

During lockdown, I miss the occasional visit to food establishments like Chick-fil-A where when you place your order, the cashier politely says, “My pleasure!”

That’s the proverbial flavor of the message of Paul wants the Romans and the Corinthians to hear with regard to the giving of the Macedonians and the Achaians. They were filled with joy and pleased to give.

Today’s our daughter, Sophie, turns 23. I rejoice that your rich generosity always comes with the same spirit: “My pleasure!” She’s always pleased to share whatever God supplies whether it be material or spiritual blessings.

Now I see why Paul would write about the Macedonians and the Achaians in 2 Corinthians and Romans with such enthusiasm. They gave from grateful hearts that were thrilled to share.

When people give with a “My pleasure!” perspective that always makes sure everyone has enough, they are the kind of person everyone wants to be around. They bless everyone they touch. Happy Birthday, dear Sophie!