“Jesus sat down opposite the place where offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury… a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins… Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty put in everything – all she had to live on.’ ” (Mark 12:41-44)
Jesus does not look at the outward show of an individual, but the heart. He also does not see just giving large sums of money as a sacrifice. True giving for Him is giving that costs something. It is not from our abundance. It is that which is given beyond abundance. The rich could, and can, give beyond their abundance like the poor widow here. They were not doing that, however. Real giving for Jesus means we give up something. The woman gave up what she had to live on.
How is our heart doing? Are we able to give sincerely beyond our abundance? Are we willing to sacrifice something that we normally would experience or desire? This is a big deal to Jesus. It determines our character as far as our trust in Him is concerned. It reveals whether we are making any progress in living with His mind within us. Turning from the world’s focus on selfishness is not easy and in fact impossible without the Lord’s help. We do desire the Holy Spirit within us to change our attitude into true sacrificial givers, as the Lord desires. That is a witness to our faith and trust in our Savior and Lord.
Heavenly Father, it is no secret that money is a blessing and can be a curse. Help us use Your gifts to us, including our money, to serve You. It will be a struggle but with You Spirit working in us new opportunities will open up. Help us give from the heart beyond our abundance to Your glory.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.