Generosity and Joy

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8:1-24

Topics: Greed, Money

Study Guide

In this passage, Paul exhorts the believers at Corinth to be courageously generous. A faith-filled Christian can be both physically impoverished and abundantly joyful, for our economy is radically different from the world’s. As we serve others with our money, we emulate Jesus, who left infinite riches in heaven and embraced poverty on earth in order to bring us a wealth of grace. As believers, we are called to stay connected to the mission of the church, prioritize our giving, and treat generosity as a spiritual discipline.
Application
  1. How we spend our money is indicative of the state of our hearts. Where are you prone to spend money? What does that reveal about the idols in your heart (comfort, adventure, security, etc.)?

  2. Paul challenges the Corinthians to finish what they started, give eagerly and in proportion to what they have, and sacrifice to meet others’ needs. In which of these areas can you grow? Is your priority to give generously, then save wisely, then live appropriately. Why or why not?

  3. Take some time to pray about how God is leading you and your family to give. What priority does generosity have as a value in your home? How can you grow in honoring the Lord with your finances in the same way you honor other commitments?

  4. How connected are you to the mission of the church? Read about what the church is doing and celebrate how your generosity helps accomplish the mission. (wechoose.gracechurchsc.org)

Key Points
  • Paul’s description of the Macedonians is a paradox—they are impoverished and persecuted yet they are filled with abundant joy. This is evidence of the gospel at work in their lives.

  • The believers at Corinth have grown in their faith; however, Paul urges them to excel in generosity as well.

  • Money is an accurate reflection of what we value, fear, and place our trust in. How we spend our money and the extent of our generosity reveal the idols of our hearts.

  • Jesus provides the ultimate example of sacrificial giving. He became poor, both physically and spiritually, in order to make us rich. We can never out-give what Jesus has given us.

  • Giving should come from the overflow of a thankful heart—we must give eagerly and sacrificially, placing our trust in God instead of our own resources.

Other Scripture References