Twenty-two years ago Nike trademarked “Just do it.” I remember shortly afterward one of our managers used the phrase often, wanting something done quickly. As usual, the concept goes way back. Our pastor read last night Paul’s version.
Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. (2 Corinthians 8:11 KJV)
“Perform the doing of it” is a bit longer, but has the same concept – let’s do it, and quickly. Paul was writing here to the Corinthians a year after his first letter, a year after they had decided to make a contribution of support for the church in Jerusalem. The year before, they were ready. At this writing, performance was lacking.
Are we doing the same? Do we need someone to tell us to perform?
The subject here in chapter 8 is contributions. There is a wider application than bringing our tithes and offerings. The Bible tells us we should do that with a cheerful heart and in a right spirit.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV)
There are no specific references in the New Testament to the tithe, the ten percent giving of the Old Testament other than Jesus’ words.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Matthew 23:23 KJV)
Tithes were not to be left undone. The greater application refers to all giving, not just money, but giving of time and talents. Jesus refers to the law (following God’s commandments), mercy (loving and forgiving our fellow man), and faith (the substance of things hoped for, evidence of things unseen) as things we out to have done. Are we? Or are we just as the Pharisees?
“Perform the doing of it” applies to all facets of our Christian life. Our performance can be measured, too, through scripture. Go ahead, pick a verse where we’re told to do something. Then determine the performance.
Start with that greatest commandment. Do we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind? Do we on Sunday mornings when sleeping late can be justified due to the lateness of Saturday night and the need for eight hours of sleep? As part of the body of Christ, do we think we are too weak to be of service, not needed for His work. Think again.
Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: (1 Corinthians 12:22 KJV)
God can accomplish His goals without us, but why in the world would we want Him to do so? It is through His strength and His will that we are able to “perform the doing of it.” Through that doing, we are blessed. Not simply through giving money, but giving works.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (2 Corinthians 9:8 KJV)