Here the apostle proceeds to a fresh argument for the quickening and exciting the Corinthians charity, drawn from their own reputation. He had heard, that a year ago, upon writing his former epistle, they had made several collections, at several times, as their gains came in; his advice therefore is, that they perfect and complete the good work which they had undertaken; and that as there was a readiness and willingness of mind then, so there might be a performance of their good resolutions now: For whatsoever is given to God, is accepted according to what a man has, and it is not expected he should give according to what he has not.
Learn hence, That God interprets and accepts the charity of men according to the largeness of their hearts, and not according to the straitness of their fortunes. It is not so much the quantity of the gift, as the good will and cheerful mind of the giver, that God looks at: If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted.
Learn farther, That to do any good with a willing mind, be it little or much, is very acceptable to God; if there be little of the purse, and much of the heart in it, provided that little be what we can well spare, the Lord hath a great respect unto it.
Learn lastly, That as we must give, so God will accept what is given, according to what a man has, and not according to what he has not. What is due to another, either by debt or duty, in making provision for those of our own family, cannot be charitably given, as being not our own.