2 Corinthians 8:1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
Severe affliction. Extreme poverty. Abundant joy? Generosity? That's not a combination that we would normally put together. The Macedonians were in poverty but were generous. Why? Because of the grace of God. He is a perfect, loving Father who gives us everything when we deserve nothing. When we see everything as a gift from a generous giver, we become generous givers ourselves.
3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.
Their giving was sacrificial. Is ours?
6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
Giving is described as an act of grace. It is showing grace to others because we have received grace ourselves. Don’t want to give? Ask God to give you grace to be generous.
8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 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.
Don’t give just because you think you ought to. God’s aim is not your begrudging contribution. He doesn't need your money. Our generosity is inspired by the cross. Jesus gave everything. He didn’t just give us what was left. When we consider Jesus' sacrifice, nothing becomes too much to give. Do we realise how much he has given us? How deeply he loves us? Why are we clinging desperately to cash when we’ve got a loving Father who has demonstrated his love to us?