Writing about Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, Bible scholar Ched Myers points out that Paul quotes Exodus 16:18 to draw forward the “abundance and limits” lesson of the manna story in relation to giving in the Corinthian church. Paul writes, “it is a question of fair balance between your present abundance and their need. ... As it is written, ‘The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little’” (2 Corinthians 8:13-15). Taken as a whole, 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 can be an invitation to more deeply integrate social justice values with personal giving and investing plans.
This is an important invitation, because many of us have benefited from a system that steers the “gathering of too much” in our direction. One way to acknowledge the responsibility of privilege is by using the economic justice vehicle of community investing to move money for social change. Community investing means putting money into specific banks, credit unions, microcredit funds, and other vehicles that create opportunity and resources for low-income people in the United States and abroad who are underserved by traditional financial institutions. Community investors help make financial services available to low-income individuals and supply capital for small businesses, affordable housing, and community services.