Generous Giving: Stewardship Principles from 2 Corinthians



Here is one sample of how 2 Corinthians 8–9 and related passages are used in Christian churches today. Fifteen “Stewardship Principles” for modern Christians are drawn from the writings of Paul.

  1. Giving is both a duty and a delight, something that we ought to do and something that we are pleased to do (Rom. 15:27).
  2. Giving is to be regular and systematic, according to a plan (1 Cor. 16:2).
  3. Giving is a demonstration of God’s grace (2 Cor. 8:1; 9:14).
  4. Giving need not be hampered by difficult circumstances, for even those who suffer affliction and experience poverty may exhibit generosity (2 Cor. 8:2).
  5. Giving is to be voluntary, not compulsory (2 Cor. 8:3; 9:5, 7).
  6. Giving should be proportionate to one’s income and circumstances, as each is expected to contribute according to his or her means (2 Cor. 8:3, 11–13).
  7. Giving can also be undertaken as a sacrifice, as some will feel inspired to give “beyond their means” (2 Cor. 8:3).
  8. Giving is a privilege, something that we appreciate being able to do as a result of God’s grace (2 Cor. 8:4).
  9. Giving involves more than financial contributions: we first commit ourselves to the Lord and to the church at large (2 Cor. 8:5).
  10. Giving is a witness to the gospel, demonstrating the genuineness of the church’s love (2 Cor. 8:8, 24).
  11. Giving may involve making a pledge that the giver is committed to fulfilling over time (2 Cor. 8:10–11).
  12. Giving is to represent a personal commitment: each person is to make up his or her own mind how much to give (2 Cor. 9:7).
  13. Giving is to be undertaken not reluctantly, but cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7).
  14. Giving is conducted in faith that God will provide for those who give (2 Cor. 9:8–11).
  15. Giving brings glory to God and leads people to give thanks to God (2 Cor. 9:11–13).

Adapted from Mark Allan Powell, Giving to God: The Bible’s Good News about Living a Generous Life (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006), 116–17. Used by permission.