How Generosity Changed Everything—Lessons from Corinth
Does generosity change everything?
A long time ago, Paul was a cynic. I supposed even that cynic is not even the right word. He was a zealot—against Christians. He hated them. In fact, he went about killing them. He organized mobs to round up Christians and to get them killed.
But that all changed one day on the road to Damascus as we he was on the way to a mob scene in the making. I’ll give more on that later.
After Paul professed his faith in Jesus everything changed. He went from city to city and he talked about Jesus. Every city he went into he’d march straight into the square or the synagogue, and he’d engage people about this Jesus.
One of those cities was Corinth. This city-state was located at the southern tip of Greece. Located on an isthmus, it was a bustling center for trade. As a result of its pivotal location, people flowed in and out of the city, and with that flow a steady exchange of ideas, theories and beliefs.
In it’s early roots, Corinth was a center for the worship of Greek gods: Aphrodite, Apollo, Demeter and others. When Paul visited the city in 51 and 52 AD, many responded to his message of a single god, who loved and cared for his people yet called for singular obedience. This novel message differed strongly from the polytheistic culture, and the church in Corinth thrived.
But the Christian life can never be fully divorced, or perhaps more accurately, still lives in context of the former way of life and culture. How can and would Paul’s message of hope change a culture steeped in mythology, philosophy, superstition and outright intellectual pride?
Indeed, think of it as two trains of thought colliding in full view? How does it all work out? My next blog will address this theme of how generosity changes everything?