And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Mark 12:41-44 ESV
Jesus didn’t publicly embarrass those rich people putting contributions into the offering box, but he did take the opportunity to teach his disciples. He doesn’t say anything bad about the rich people but does say that the poor widow out-gave the people of affluence. From a rudimentary standpoint, it seems like, A, Jesus sees more value in the percentage of money contributed than in the dollar amount, and B, a sacrifice offered from a particular point of poverty in one’s belongings is more pleasing to God than sacrifice from a point of wealth.
Everyone has areas of wealth and areas of poverty. Someone may be financially stable, but physically unfit. I think for that person, it would be a clearer litmus test if they were volunteering time repairing houses than donating a tenth of their income to the cause. It requires more of that person and is a more true display of who rules their hearts.
Am I giving to God in the ways that are harder for me? Are my offerings showing God he only rules my heart when it’s convenient, or am I also giving out of the poverty of my free time? Or the poverty of my propensity to not notice others?
Jesus, thank you for not passing up this opportunity to teach your disciples, and me, what kind of giving in which your Father truly delights. Why would I think my tithe would matter less than a billionaire’s tithe to the God who needs nothing? Reveal to me the ways that I can give to you that don’t come naturally to me, that would show you that my heart is really yours. More than pleasing any missionary or support-based ministry with my giving, I want to please you. Help me maximize my giving in such a way that it puts you on the throne of my heart.
This post is part of my Weekly REAP series. I’m posting these from my personal journal to share what God is teaching me, and to give some practical examples of the REAP method. I didn’t write any of these with publishing in mind, so forgive me if they don’t always wax eloquent. Here is some more information on the REAP study method.