2 Corinthians 8:12
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.

King James Bible
For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

Darby Bible Translation
For if the readiness be there, a man is accepted according to what he may have, not according to what he has not.

World English Bible
For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what you have, not according to what you don't have.

Young's Literal Translation
for if the willing mind is present, according to that which any one may have it is well-accepted, not according to that which he hath not;

2 Corinthians 8:12 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For if there be first a willing mind - If there is a "readiness" (προθυμία prothumia), a disposition to give; if the heart is in it, then the offering will be acceptable to God, whether you be able to give much or little. A willing mind is the first consideration. No donation, however large, can be acceptable where that does not exist; none, however small, can be otherwise than acceptable where that is found. This had relation as used by Paul to the duty of almsgiving; but the principle is as applicable to everything in the way of duty. A willing mind is the first and main thing. it is that which God chiefly desires, and that without which everything else will be offensive, hypocritical, and vain; see the note, 2 Corinthians 9:7.

It is accepted - Doddridge, Rosenmuller, Macknight, and some others apply this to the person, and render it," he is accepted;" but the more usual, and the more natural interpretation is to apply it to the gift - it is accepted. God will approve of it, and will receive it favorably.

According to that a man hath ... - He is not required to give what he has not. His obligation is proportioned to his ability. His offering is acceptable to God according to the largeness and willingness of his heart, and not according to the narrowness of his fortune - Locke. If the means are small, if the individual is poor, and if the gift shall be, therefore, small in amount, yet it may be proof of a larger heart and of more true love to God and his cause than when a much more ample benefaction is made by one in better circumstances. This sentiment the Saviour expressly stated and defended in the case of the poor widow; Mark 12:42-44; Luke 21:1-4. She who had cast in her two mites into the treasury had put in more than all which the rich people had contributed, for they had given of their abundance, but she had cast in all that she had, even all her living. The great and obviously just and equal principle here stated, was originally applied by Paul to the duty of giving alms. But it is equally true and just as applied to all the duties which we owe to God. He demands:

(1) A willing mind, a heart disposed to yield obedience. He claims that our service should be voluntary and sincere, and that we should make an unreserved consecration of what we have.

(2) secondly, he demands only what we have power to render. He requires a service strictly according to our ability, and to be measured by that. He demands no more than our powers are suited to produce; no more than we are able to render. Our obligations in all cases are limited by our ability. This is obviously the rule of equity, and this is all that is anywhere demanded in the Bible, and this is everywhere demanded. Thus, our love to him is to be in proportion to our ability, and not to be graduated by the ability of angels or other beings. "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength;" Mark 12:30. Here the obligation is limited by the ability, and the love is to be commensurate with the ability. So of repentance, faith, and of obedience in any form. None but a tyrant ever demands more than can be rendered; and to demand more is the appropriate description of a tyrant, and cannot pertain to the ever-blessed God.

(3) thirdly, if there is any service rendered to God, according to the ability, it is accepted of him. It may not be as much or as valuable as may be rendered by beings of higher powers; it may not be as much as we would desire to render, but it is all that God demands, and is acceptable to him. The poor widow was not able to give as much as the rich man; but her offering was equally acceptable, and might be more valuable, for it would be accompanied with her prayers. The service which we can render to God may not be equal to that which the angels render; but it may be equally appropriate to our condition and our powers, and may be equally acceptable to God. God may be as well pleased with the sighings of penitence as the praises of angels; with the offerings of a broken and a contrite heart as with the loud hallelujahs of unfallen beings in heaven.

2 Corinthians 8:12 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Giving and Asking
'Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2. How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 4. Praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5. And this they did, not as we hoped,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Of the Matters to be Considered in the Councils.
Let us now consider the matters which should be treated in the councils, and with which popes, cardinals, bishops, and all learned men should occupy themselves day and night, if they loved Christ and His Church. But if they do not do so, the people at large and the temporal powers must do so, without considering the thunders of their excommunications. For an unjust excommunication is better than ten just absolutions, and an unjust absolution is worse than ten just excommunications. Therefore let
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation

The Duty of Self-Denial.
"Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child."--Psalm cxxxi. 2. Self-denial of some kind or other is involved, as is evident, in the very notion of renewal and holy obedience. To change our hearts is to learn to love things which we do not naturally love--to unlearn the love of this world; but this involves, of course, a thwarting of our natural wishes and tastes. To be righteous and obedient implies self-command; but to
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

Of the Nature of Regeneration, with Respect to the Change it Produces in Men's Affections, Resolutions, Labors, Enjoyments and Hopes.
2 Cor. v. 17. 2 Cor. v. 17. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new. AMONG the various subjects, which exercise the thoughts and tongues of men, few are more talked of than Religion. But it is melancholy to think how little it is understood; and how much it is mistaken and misrepresented in the world. The text before us gives us a very instructive view of it: such a view, that I am sure, an experimental knowledge of its sense would
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

Cross References
Exodus 25:2
"Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution.

Mark 12:43
Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury;

Luke 21:3
And He said, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them;

Luke 21:4
for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on."

2 Corinthians 8:11
But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.

2 Corinthians 8:13
For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality--

2 Corinthians 8:19
and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness,

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