Chapters 8-9 in 2 Corinthians give us as much detail to Christian stewardship as any other passage in the New Testament. The irony is that tithing is not the principle that is taught by Paul in this passage. The truths taught by Paul to the Corinthians in these two chapters will motivate both those who tithe and those who do not.
The background for these two chapters is found in Romans 15:22-29 and 1 Corinthians 16:1-4. These two passages reveal Paul’s intention of collecting an offering among all the churches to bring to the poor saints in Jerusalem. In 1 Corinthians 16, Paul gave some practical procedures as to how to collect the offering. The tone of the rest of the letter, along with his address of the situation in 2 Corinthians, causes us to wonder if the Corinthians have questioned Paul as to the need for the offering or given some other excuse as to the offering. If indeed this is the case, notice how Paul reflects on the gracious giving of the Macedonians as a way to motivate the Corinthians to be involved in this offering.
If we are honest about Biblical giving, tithing, giving to various mission causes, and other forms of giving really do not make sense, outside of obedience. When there’s more month than money most times, how could we begin to think about giving one-tenth or more away before we get started? That’s why we need grace. God’s grace doesn’t make much sense either. However, I’m so glad for it—aren’t you? Ask God to give you the grace to give and the faith to believe that His grace will be sufficient when we give Him complete control of our finances.
Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com.