“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #195
“And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me” (1 Cor. 16:3–4).
In the previous verses, Paul had instructed the saints in Corinth to take up their collection Sunday by Sunday so that there would not have to be a last minute push. Their giving was to be part of their worship on the Lord’s Day, and their giving was not to be motivated by the duress of deadlines. Christian generosity is steady and deliberate, not momentary or panicked.
When we come to his instruction here, we notice some additional principles. Paul writes ahead to have them take up their collections. He then tells them that when he arrives, they will appoint delegates to accompany their gift. The collection was for the saints in Jerusalem, and delegates from Corinth were going to accompany the gift there regardless. If Paul did not go, they would simply take it. If Paul went to Jerusalem also, they would accompany him.
We can glean two principles from this. First, Christian generosity is personal, best delivered face to face. The Corinthians gathered the money up for the inhabitants of Jerusalem; it would therefore be best if Corinthians handed it over in person. The second principle is known accountability. Paul tells the church at Corinth that were not simply handing the money over to him, the great apostle. He said that no, if he went to Jerusalem, he still wanted those auditors with him.