When they gave, they "overflowed" in the process. They liberally and sacrificially gave "beyond their ability." I love the way Paul wrote that. Their giving dripped with sacrificial generosity. There wasn't a tightwad among them. How refreshing!
Insight for Today
Written by Chuck Swindoll, these encouraging devotional thoughts are published seven days per week.
When we practice the art of unselfish living, we prefer to remain anonymous. In fact, most of the people I know who possess a servant's heart are greatly embarrassed when their names are put up in lights.
Giving, forgiving, and forgetting...as a servant of Jesus Christ, which of these three do you need to apply most today?
Now, before we get neck deep into this unselfish lifestyle, we need to determine if it is, in fact, promoted in Scripture. Does the Bible come right up front and encourage living like this? I'll let you determine the answer.
Yourself, yourself, yourself. We're up to here with self! Do something either for yourself or with yourself or to yourself. How very different from Jesus' model and message! He offers rather a fresh and much-needed invitation to our "me-first" generation.
You see, I learned a lot about looking out for self in school; I perfected it in the Marine Corps; and I developed ways to pull it off with real finesse in seminary, learning to be a minister. Hey, this is the profession where a guy can get away with it and hardly ever be criticized for it...even though we should!
The pattern hasn't changed, has it? Since the original scene, the history of humanity is smeared with ugly marks of selfishness. Unwilling to be authentic, we hide, we deny, we lie, we run, we escape. Anything but the whole truth!
Don't miss what that says about their eyes. They were opened. There was a sudden, shocking realization they were naked. Seems amazing to us, doesn't it? You and I couldn't be more aware of those times when we are naked. Just a half-opened zipper makes us blush.
Instead of spending all those hours pushing and promoting, we'll wind up with more time for friends and family. And the Lord will even grant you some time for yourself, plus a few extra hours to go fishing!
Maybe we should confess that one reason we find it so hard to set selfishness aside and adopt the spirit of a servant is that we're driven by dreams of success. We want to be winners.