10And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.
[This story certainly isn’t new, some churches get off to a great start, then they plateau. You see, if churches were more like a hill, going one way or the other, water would just run down it and do some good somewhere. Water on plateaus, on the other hand, gets to puddle until there is so much only some of it runs down the side or the sun evaporates it all. Paul is saying that they ought not to worry about giving an appropriately large gift, but they ought to give out of what they have to work with. After all, you can’t give a million dollars away if you don’t have at least a million dollars to give away.]
13Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, 15as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.””
[I wonder what it would be like if we were to really follow through in these verses. This verse isn’t saying that we should take from Peter to pay Paul. It’s about Sunnyside Church helping Fairweather Church out during a flood so that when a fire threatens you, Fairweather Church would be willing and able to help good old Sunnyside Church – and of course, the people that attend those churches. These particular passages might be at an end, but our lesson is just beginning.]