S (Scripture): 2 Corinthians 6:3 We do not give anyone an occasion for taking an offense in anything, so that no fault may be found with our ministry. 6:4 But as God’s servants, we have commended ourselves in every way…
6:10 as sorrowful, but always rejoicing, as poor, but making many rich, as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
O (Observation): Paul reminds the believers in Corinth about the way of the follower of Christ. The way is not filled with worldly glory or honors. In fact, as followers of Jesus, they will be persecuted and looked down-upon. But they also have much to rejoice!
The world will return kindness and generosity with malice, taking advantage of those who are benevolent. Because kindness is treated with scorn, Paul reminds them that will experience sorrow. Yet, they will rejoice, because of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Their well-being is not tied up in earthly honors, but centers on the love of God.
Paul reminds them that they will be poor, and yet possess the richest of gifts: the Good News of Jesus Christ, broken, died, and raised for you, me, and all of creation. The gift of grace and redemption is the richest gift one can receive, and Paul reminds them that this gift is theirs to embrace and share. Though materially poor, one can share the gift of the Good News, thereby making others rich.
With no material wealth and a lowly status, one might feel empty and void. Yet Paul reminds them that the gift of God’s grace is everything they could ever need or want.
A (Application): Paul redefines for his followers what it means to possess wealth. I don’t like to be earthly poor. I don’t like my student loan debt. I like earthly status. And yet, Paul reminds me that in Christ I have everything I need. (Perhaps this verse has contributed to my being able to tithe on my income : )
And the knowledge that Christ gives me everything I need affects the entirety of my being. This knowledge affects my satisfaction levels, my confidence, my parenting ability, my role as pastor, my financial situation, etc.
My identity as a child of God is secure, because God has called me by name. God handed Jesus over, for me. God raised Jesus from the dead, for me. God sent the Spirit to me in my baptism. I am free. I am rich beyond imagination.
Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who God is.
I’m the richest person in the world.
(Now…back to paying down that student loan : )
P (Prayer): Lord, rich or poor, you love us all, and can make us all wealthy. Wealthy as a spiritual state of being, regardless of our earthly wealth. Keep us focused on being wealthy IN YOU, only because we are recipients of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Amen.