ONCERNING our giving to others, there can be a little distance between our decision to help and the actual giving and collecting of our gifts. In that intermission, our fleshly mind (and the devil himself) can get in the way of our noble goals. Paul wrote this chapter to deal with and hopefully prevent that exact brand of failure.
The Corinthians had been touched by reports about the troubles and hardships that other believers were enduring. With tremendous zeal and passion, they had evidently made some rather large commitments to help those who were in need. Yet, while Paul had spoken publicly about the largeness of the hearts of the Corinthians, he must have eventually recognized that when it came time for them to make good on their large commitments, there could be a very real temptation for them to back out. Paul was not trying to produce a burden in these believers; they had already caught a vision of the need. What Paul was working on here was simply the importance and impact of follow through.
What is it that we can do to help ourselves follow through? Well, here Paul used something that we commonly call accountability.