Sharing with others

  • Sharing with others

    The Corinthian church was a diverse community that Paul was encouraging to behave in countercultural ways – in how they ate together, but also in how they gave. Paul sent Titus and the brothers to help with the practical organisation of the gift – to ensure both financial probity and security. Paul also reminded the Corinthians of God’s character and generosity towards them, providing for them (and us) to be generous givers without patronage expectations.

    With the Thessalonians, Paul was quick to praise their love and care for one another, but also placed boundaries on this sharing, encouraging the Thessalonians who were able to work to do so rather than being concerned with the affairs of a patron and seeking to rely on them.

    As we look at the Corinthians and the Thessalonians, what can we learn?

    When do we share food with one another?

    How do we relate to and share with those brothers and sisters who are different from us? In our Christian communities, how do we make sure everyone is included and no one is left out?

    Are we ready to give and receive in sharing? Which do we find easiest?

    What do we put in place to guard probity? How do we value and learn from those with gifts in the areas of finance and administration?

    Paul encouraged both the Corinthians and the Thessalonians to give without patronage expectations. Are we ready to freely give as we have freely received?

    Paul encouraged all the Corinthians to take part in the gift (voluntarily) and all the Thessalonians to behave as benefactors to those around them. How do we hold the tension between encouraging participation in giving and making clear that it is voluntary?

    In what ways are Christians currently benefactors to those around them?