April 6, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have the Bible Edge
II Corinthians 8:12 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.
What is your mind willing to do? So many times we set conditions on our mind. “If I had this, I would do this,” or “If she (or he) does this, I will do that,” or even “If I could, I would.” We set conditions that are usually unreasonable thereby having a built-in excuse for not doing that which we know we should do regardless of the “ifs” of life. In context the Apostle Paul is writing to the church at Corinth encouraging them in the area of offerings for the poor believers in Jerusalem and Judea. He relates that each person’s giving should be based upon what they have, not based upon what they do not have, and that it is to be given first and foremost of a willing mind.
A willing mind determined to give that which they are able to give according to that which they have. What a thought! Someone may want to give a hundred thousand dollars to their church, but they do not have it to give. They may only have one thousand dollars that they could possibly give. The question is, does that person have a willing mind to give that which they can, a thousand dollars? Yes, they would give one hundred thousand if they were a millionaire, but do they have a willing mind to give the thousand they have now? If the answer is no, then it would follow that even if they were a multimillionaire, they probably wouldn’t give that one hundred thousand. If they are not willing to give a thousand when they have the ability to do so, then it is folly to think that they would give one hundred thousand if and when they could. Their mind is not willing to do so.
Notice, in this example of giving it is the willing mind that matters. So, the question remains, what is your mind willing to do? This matter of a willing mind is a principle of the Christian life. If you are not willing in your mind to do a thing you will not do it. If your mind is willing, then you will find a way to perform it. A willing mind makes all the difference. A story was told one time of a government purchasing manager. The executive of a large corporation was trying to win a big contract and offered the purchasing manager $10,000 to make sure he won the contract. The purchasing manager said “No, what type of person do you think I am? I will not risk my position,
my reputation, or my future for money.” Then the executive offered this purchasing manager $1,000,000. The manager then said, “How could we do it, how would it work, perhaps I could.” Then the executive offered the man $20,000 to guarantee that he would win the contract. The purchasing manager said, “What kind of person do you think I am to offer me that amount of money?” The corporate executive told the manager, “We’ve already established what kind of person you are, now we are negotiating the price.” You see, there was an amount that would make the manager have a willing mind to corrupt the process and cheat the competition.
Living by principle means that no money, or imagined popularity, fun, or other benefits can change one’s mind from violating that principle. A willing mind is a principled mind, settled on a particular course of action regardless of external enticements or obstacles. Now that’s an edge, a Bible Edge for living a principled life that springs from a willing mind.
William Howe, Ph.D.