2 Corinthians 8:8

8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.

2 Corinthians 8:8 in Other Translations

8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.
8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.
8 I'm not trying to order you around against your will. But by bringing in the Macedonians' enthusiasm as a stimulus to your love, I am hoping to bring the best out of you.
8 I am not saying this as a command. Rather, by means of the diligence of others, I am testing the genuineness of your love.

2 Corinthians 8:8 Meaning and Commentary

2 Corinthians 8:8

I speak not by commandment
Either of God, who has not fixed the certain times when, or certain sums which persons are to give, and other circumstances, which are left to discretion; but in general has signified it as his will, that those in necessity are to be relieved by such who are in ability to do it: or as an apostle, he did not speak in an imperious manner, extorting from them a collection, or laying his apostolical injunctions upon them to make one; he did not go about to force or oblige them to it, for men in such cases must act willingly, and what they do, must do of their own accord with cheerfulness, and not through constraint or grudgingly:

but by occasion of the forwardness of others;
or "through carefulness for others"; what moved the apostle to propose this matter to the Corinthians, and exhort them to it, were either the forwardness of the Macedonians, cheerfully contributing in the midst of their poverty, and their urgent solicitations that the same good work might go on elsewhere, or else the very great care and concern that he himself had for the poor saints at Jerusalem: it was not therefore to show his apostolical authority, that he sent Titus to them to finish this service; but he was stirred up hereunto, partly by the bounty and solicitations of others, and partly by bowels of compassion within himself, and concern in his own mind for the poor saints; and also, as he adds,

to prove the sincerity of your love;
to God, to Christ, to his ministers, and to the saints, particularly the poor; that their love might appear to be true, genuine, hearty, and real to others, to all men as well as to them the apostles.

2 Corinthians 8:8 In-Context

6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part.
7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
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 through his poverty might become rich.
10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.

Cross References 1

  • 1. 1 Corinthians 7:6
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