Paul continues to speak of the collection for the Jerusalem church that he is seeking from the Corinthian Church. In the first part of the passage, he highlights the three people he is sending to collect the gift from the Corinthians. He commends each one to the church and talks of the importance of making sure the process of collection is above reproach.
Coming out of yesterday’s reading focusing on the interconnected community, this collection is one way the church can honour God and demonstrate their love for their fellow believers. Within this discussion, Paul speaks twice of how the generosity of the Corinthian church demonstrates their love for God and for one another (v 19 & 24). In 1 John 3:16 John defines love through the self-sacrificing actions of Christ. Love is not merely a feeling towards another person, it is the choice to put the needs of that person before your own needs.
Paul’s message to the Corinthian church confirms that it is not enough to talk about such demonstrations of love, it needs to be actioned. Paul sends the team to collect it and calls the Corinthian church to give generously so that the words and promises of the Corinthian church would not prove hollow. If we are truly to be people who love God with all we have and to love our neighbours as ourselves, we must include actions that seek to put the needs of others before our own, inclusive of our finances. How are you demonstrating your love for others through your actions today?