And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. ~2 Corinthians 12:15
Living in California is very expensive. Many adults become value shoppers in order to maximize the purchasing power of their money. They will give focused attention to weekly sales on groceries, appliances, furniture, and other consumer items. They will discipline their budget to only purchase in bulk and when the items are on sale. Value shoppers are wise in their spending. The word “spend” implies allocating money to purchase something, consuming, paying out, or expending. Paul uses the phrase “spend and be spent” to describe the sacrifices that he was willing to make for people he ministered to.
We see the excitement.
“And I will very gladly….” Paul had an enthusiastic and exciting spirit when it came to giving to God and giving to others. In his teaching about giving, he said that every man should give according as he purposes in his heart and not grudgingly. God loves a cheerful giver: that is, a Christian who gives joyfully. Paul quoted the words of our Lord Jesus that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” A Spirit-filled Christian will be ready and willing to give spontaneously, sacrificially, and substantially.
We see the expending.
“And I will very gladly spend….” All of us are spenders. On one extreme, unwise spending results in squandering and wastefulness. On the other extreme, we can be tight-fisted in our spending, resulting in us being miserly and miserable. Wise spending is when we give of our time, resources, and ability in helping others. Wise spending is how we invest in other people. As a Christian, we should be possessed with a spirit that is giving out to build, mentor, restore, take care of, and encourage others.
We see the exhausted.
“And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you.” Paul was not only a leader who expended, but he was a leader who exhausted himself for others. The word “spent” implies “spending to the very last penny.” It means to give it all away. It means to give it all you have and have nothing left over for you. You have exhausted all of what you have and possess. Paul told these believers whom he loved that he would give his all for them. He would spend and be spent. This is what our Lord Jesus did when He was nailed to the cross and shed His precious blood for our sins. He willingly and lovingly spent Himself for us. The difference maker in what we do and the lasting impact we leave behind us is measured by spending and being spent.
We see the exposure.
“Though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” Paul wanted us to know the exposure, or risk, involved when we willingly spend and are spent. Paul indicated that the more abundantly he loved, the less he was loved. We do not spend and we are not spent with the idea of getting repaid in the same way by the people we do this for. If anything, we must accept the inevitable risk that they might love you substantially less than you love them. They might appreciate what you do for them, but do not expect that they would ever do the same for you. We do not spend and are not spent for recompense: we do this because we are called to pour what we are and what we have into the lives of the people God has given us to serve. Wise spending is giving it all and being thankful that God gave you this opportunity. You are a wise spender in the eyes of God when you live to spend and be spent.
Have a willing God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Lamentations 1-3:36