What Does God Think of Your Giving?Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“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.”
When I was pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church, a woman I’ll call Sandra came to me for counsel. She was active in the church, but had been going through many challenges in her personal and financial life.
“I don’t know if I should keep on giving to the church,” Sandra said, sadly.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“You know that I’ve been dealing with difficult issues in my finances. I have kept on giving to the church because I believe it’s right. But, recently, the deacons had to help me financially so I could pay my rent. They gave me more than I give to the church in a whole year. So I’m thinking that maybe I should just stop giving, that way I wouldn’t need the church to help me. What I give doesn’t amount to much, anyway. The church won’t miss it.”
As Sandra shared her story, I couldn’t help but remember the story that is traditionally called “The Widow’s Mite.” (Centuries ago, a mite was a small coin.) So I took out my Bible and turned to the story upon which we focus today. I read it to Sandra, twice, as I recall. I put special emphasis on Jesus’ line, “This poor widow has given more than all the rest of them (21:3).
After I finished reading, I asked Sandra, “So, what does God think of your giving?” I watched as she struggled to say that it was too good to be true. “God...cares about what I give.” With tears in her eyes, she continued, “God sees my gift as just as important as those who can give much more. My gift matters to him.”
“A whole lot,” I added. “A whole, whole lot. So what do you think you should do about your giving to the church?”
“I will keep on giving,” she said without hesitation.
“And we will keep on being the church to you,” I said. “That’s our responsibility and joy. In fact, I believe God is pleased when we help you, even as he is delighted in your gift to him, no matter the size.”
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Have you ever found yourself wondering if your gifts to the Lord’s work matter? Have you ever felt like Sandra? As you read Luke 21:3-4, how does this text speak to you?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, how easy it is for us to think in worldly terms about things, even spiritual things. We can think that large financial gifts matter more to you than small ones. We can even discount our own giving, unless we happen to be people of significant financial means. Forgive us, Lord, for letting the ways of this world govern our minds and hearts...and our giving to you.
No matter what we have, may we give generously and faithfully to your work. If our gifts are large in size, may we give them with humility and gratitude. Keep us from pride, Lord! If our gifts are small, may we give them with joy and confidence, knowing that you don’t care more about the shape of our heart than the size of our gift.
All praise be to you, O God, because you treasure the widow’s mite. Amen.