There are more than a few famous verses in this passage related to giving. But today, it was one less often quoted verse that struck me today. In talking about how people would respond to the generosity of the Corinthians, Paul wrote,
And as they pray on your behalf, they will have deep affection for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. (9:14)
When I read that, I thought, “What do people see in me? When people look at me and think of me, is “the surpassing grace of God” the first thing they think of? Do they think of me with deep affection because of the surpassing grace of God within me?”
I have my doubts.
I do try to be gracious. But maybe that’s part of the problem. Grace is not something we should have to consciously think about turning on in our lives. It should naturally flow from us every moment of every day.
When Jesus came, John says that he was full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Jesus spoke truth while he was on earth, even when it was painful for others to hear. He himself was truth.
But most people didn’t shy from him because he was also full of grace as well. And that grace showed in his attitudes, words, and deeds.
That’s what I want to be. A man marked by others as one filled with and overflowing with surpassing grace.
How different would this world be if we, the church, were marked not only by the truth we proclaim, but by the surpassing grace of Jesus Christ within us?