2 Corinthians 8:1-15, “1And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. 6So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
[When it became clear that the church couldn’t just be in one city, as soon as many churches were planted in many cities there was an element of competition and comparison. Paul is telling the Corinthians that their Macedonians counterparts were able to give a lot of money despite the fact that they were very poor. They gave first to God, then to His servants. The Corinthians, on the other hand, needed to learn an important lesson: how to give.]
8I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
[If we were to use the same measure, testing how sincere we are by comparing it with others earnestness, what would the results be? Would one church excel at giving? Would another church need a tutor to help them learn how?]