And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. and He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in out of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. Mark, Chapter 12, verses 41-44.
I get very self-righteous thinking about how I do nice things for people and donate to the needy. I was on a work mission with our church’s youth group in
. Someone in the group told us how they were going to leave behind their clothes to donate to the people of that community. I thought about it awhile and decided it was a nice thing to do. So, I looked at things I didn’t mind donating. Basically, they were the things more worn and less desirable. Then this passage flashed back in my mind, and I realized I was only giving to others out of my excess where it still felt comfortable. I was not giving to others out of my need. It took me a long time and a lot of prayer with God as I agonized over this-mostly because my favorite nightgown was in my suitcase. Juarez, Mexico
If I had just left a few things to donate to the people of the community, no one would have been the wiser. If I had donated everything I owned except my favorite nightgown, no one would have even known, but God and I knew. The thing that bothered me the most was how long it took before I was finally willing to leave all my things for the needy. It showed me how worldly I had become. That certain possessions mattered to me, appalled me, because I had always prided myself in being a “Good Christian.”
Obviously, we can fool ourselves. I’m so thankful that God provided this opportunity for personal growth. I still find it easier to give to others out of the excesses of my time, money and possessions. I have to be reminded that I’m not truly giving until I give out of my need, or at least closer to it.
Here are some related passages:
*And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And He said, Of a Truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had. Luke, Chapter 21, verses 1-4.
*But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. 2 Corinthians, Chapter 9, verses 6-8.
*And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 1 Peter, Chapter 4, verses 8-9.
*For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. Deuteronomy, Chapter 15, verse 11.
*He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. Proverbs, Chapter 28, verse 27.
Because this example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life only focused on a portion of the passages, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages.