How generous should we be in helping others?
It seems it’s less about the amount and more about the attitude: give eagerly and give from what you have. Paul even compares it to the Israelites’ collection of manna – you should take (and keep) only what you need.
2 Corinthians 8:12-14 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. … Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. As the Scriptures say,
“Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over,
and those who gathered only a little had enough.from Exod 16:18
It really is about the attitude:
2 Corinthians 9:6-9 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’ And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” from Ps 112:9
So God provides it, and then we get to share it:
2 Corinthians 9:10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
And the result is that God gets the glory: firstly for His provision to us, and then for His provision through us to others.
2 Corinthians 9:13-15 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!