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Volume 32 - Page 177 of 246 Index | Zoom | |
It is the first of that blessed series of statements made about Christian love in
I Cor. 13:: "Love suffereth long, and is kind." Generosity springs out of the very
salvation we have received.
"Be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for
Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph. 4: 32).
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ" (Gal. 6: 2).
Chrestotes, "kindness", "gentleness", "goodness", as it is translated, is found only in
the writings of Paul. Haplotes, translated "liberality" and "bountifulness", is also found
only in Paul's epistles.
The world has a proverb, however, that it will be well to remember: "A man must be
just before he is generous." There is a so-called generosity that plays havoc with truth.
To this the Apostle was a stranger. He would willingly surrender his own rights. He
would gladly abstain from eating this, or drinking that; he would become a Jew that he
might win the Jew; he would be as one without law to win the Gentile; he could be
made all things to all men, that by all means he might save some (I Cor. 9: 22). But, any
who misinterpreted this generous latitude for slackness in stewardship were profoundly
surprised when they discovered that, contrary to the opinion they had formed, the pliant
flexibility of the Apostle's character was like that of the finest steel, for while he was
willing to concede all the non-essentials to a degree that called down on his devoted head
the judgment of partisan and pedant, not one atom of the sacred trust that had been
committed to him would he yield, no, not for all the "somebodies" and "somewhats" at
This is true generosity, all else is marred by the presence of indifference, of low ideas
of stewardship, or of cowardice. The Apostle's own interpretation of generosity, is "first
give yourselves" (II Cor. 8: 5), and this he did, saying, so truly:
"I will very gladly spend and be spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you,
the less I be loved" (II Cor. 12: 15).