How You Give Matters
“Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much.” Mark 12:41 NKJV
This is an interesting scripture verse because it makes it very clear that Jesus takes note of how we give. Picture Jesus sitting and looking at the treasury and just watching and observing how people give their money to the treasury. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is unchanged so today He is also observing how we give money. More important than what we give or the amount of the giving is how we give!
The story continues from here and Jesus watches as a poor widow comes and gives her little amount, just two mites which would have been a fraction of a penny. She did not give what the world would consider being a large gift monetarily but Jesus was not looking at the size of the gift but rather the heart of the giver. Jesus points out that she had actually given more than all the rest because while they gave out of their abundance, she had given out of her poverty. She had given the entirety of her livelihood.
This woman gave both out of obedience and in faith. She never knew that anyone was watching what she gave or how she gave. She certainly had no way of knowing that at that very moment in her life, God in the flesh was watching her demonstration of obedience and faith. She had no way of knowing that at that moment of faithfulness Jesus was using her as an example to His disciples and that we would still be speaking about that one quiet moment of faithful obedience 2000 years later.
Why is her seemingly simple act so meaningful to us even today? Because of how she gave. Her motivation was correct and her heart pure. She didn’t give simply because she had to. She gave in obedience, acted out with her faith. She was giving all that she had, her entire livelihood, so God was going to have to come through for her. She put Him first and trusted Him to take care of her needs. She did all of this not within the eyesight of others so she would be elevated and spoken of highly by others because of her action. No, she acted assuming that no one else would see or know but the Lord, and guess what? He did know! He took notice and used her as an example for all the believers that would follow over the centuries.
You can be assured that Jesus more than met her needs as she acted in faith. Just as Jesus took note of how she gave, today He also takes note of how we give. Are we giving with the same purity of heart and faith? The widow’s act touched billions of people that have read her story in the Word over the years. You acting in faith will also result in blessings for you and others because Jesus is observing how you give.
J Todd Hostetler