2 Corinthians 8:1-15, Acts 2:45


Developing generosity as a habit

  • How would you describe generosity? Can you think of someone who you would categorise as a generous person?
  • Paul connects generosity with grace in action. Compare v.1-2 & v.9 with 2 Corinthians 9:8.
    • How does Jesus’ “becoming poor” offer a model for generosity?
    • Do you think our generosity reflects our appreciation of grace at work in our lives?
  • Paul highlights the generosity of the churches in Macedonia (v.1-5)
    • Look at v.5: what do you think Paul expected them to do?
    • What do you think Paul means when he said: “they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will”?
    • Does v.5 offer some guidance about how to approach giving?
  • The Corinthian Christians seemed to be good at spiritual disciplines. Why do you think Paul needed to encourage them to be generous as well (v.7)?
  • In different places in the passage Paul speaks about generosity (or giving) as voluntary (for example v. 3-4, v.8 and v.10). Is giving out of obligation or command the same as generosity? Why/why not?
  • Do you think of generosity as a privilege (v.4)? Why/why not?
  • Compare v.3-4 with v.13-14.
    • Is there a difference between giving sacrificially and giving so much that you are left in need? How can this be balanced?
    • Do you think generosity involves set amounts, or not? [Look at 2 Corinthians 9:6-7]
  • Do you ever think that you don’t have enough ‘resources’ to be generous (the passage is speaking about money, but think about resources such as time or possessions)?
    • Look at v.1-4. What do you think was the cause of the Macedonian churches generosity? Is this the kind of generosity you can show?
    • How does v.12 encourage generosity no matter how much we have?
  • Paul also mentions the collection for God’s people in 1 Corinthians 16:1-4.
    • Do you think these verses offer a helpful pattern for giving? Why/why not?
    • Do you practice regular giving, or regular saving to be able to be generous? Would think be a useful thing to start doing?
  • Look at 2 Corinthians 9:11-15.
    • Do you think of your life as being made rich?
    • What should be the outcome of our generosity?
  • What one thing can you do to develop generosity as a habit in your life? Commit yourself to taking this step – it may help to tell someone else about your decision so they can remind you about it.