While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” ~Luke 21:1-4
I’ve read and heard the story of the widow’s mite many times in my life, and I’ve always thought it conveyed an important message about giving and generosity. I understood with my head what Jesus was, and still is, trying to tell us. But it wasn’t until recently that I began to understand this story with my heart. It wasn’t until I witnessed an act of truly sacrificial giving, and God reminded me of the widow and her two small coins, that I really understood the meaning of this short, but important, story.
A couple of weeks ago, a gentleman who attended our church regularly for a while, dropped by the church office to make a donation. As he handed me a $10 bill, he said that he didn’t have much to give but he believed God wanted him to give what he could. He explained that his only source of income came from SSI and the Food Stamp program. He told us that because he lived frugally, he rarely used his Food Stamps and was still able to share with others in need. He said, “If I have enough to share, why should I abuse the government and use up their money.”
Wow! I was stunned by his selfless attitude. He didn’t take more than he needed. He shared what he had with others. And yet, he still had enough to give to the church. To many people, a $10 donation might seem rather small, but to me, this man’s gift seemed huge. I looked at that $10 bill in my hand and knew that this man had truly given out of a place of sacrifice. He had given the way Jesus wants us all to give. And he had given with a cheerful heart.
His generous act made me pause to examine the way I give. Am I giving with a positive attitude? Am I giving all that I can of my time, my talents, and my money? Am I giving from a place of sacrifice? Unfortunately, the answer to those questions is—not often enough. I do give to my church financially, but I could probably give more. I give of my time in various volunteer roles, but I could probably give up more. I do use my talents and creativity to encourage other women on their faith journey, but I could probably do more.
What about you? Is this an area of your faith life that you are doing well? Or are you, like me, needing to work on developing a more sacrificial way of giving?
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” ~2 Corinthians 9:7
Be blessed my friends!