2 Corinthians 8:3

For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;

For to their power, I bear record,.... They gave according to their ability, to the utmost of it, which is the most that can be desired, or be given; for no man can give more than he has, nor is he required to do more than he is able:

yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; not that they did or could do beyond their power; but they were "willing" beyond their power; their hearts were larger than their purses; they would gladly have done more than they had ability to do; and to this the apostle bears testimony to give it credit, which otherwise might have been called in question: and it is to be observed, that these churches communicated in this cheerful manner and large way, considering their circumstances, to the utmost of their ability, "of themselves"; unasked, not having been put upon, pressed, and urged to such a service; for persons to give when they are asked, especially when they do it readily, at once, without demurring upon it, and with cheerfulness, is much; but to give unasked discovers a very generous and beneficent disposition: this is reckoned by the Jews as one of the excellencies in giving of alms {u},

"when a man gives into the hands of another lavyv Mdwq, "before he asks"; and the next degree to this is, when he gives to him after he asks; and the next to this, who gives less than is proper, but with a cheerful countenance.''

{u} Maimon. Hileh. Mattanot Anayim, c. 10. sect. 11, 12, 13.