So many of us have grown up listening to sermons, petitions and pleas to help good causes. We have heard how it is biblical to tithe and to still give offerings on top of it all. The people telling us this give us examples of how The Lord has blessed them as they have given…and they think that might loosen the purse strings a little more. Does it really? It doesn’t affect me whatsoever. I get stubborn. Maybe it’s because we hear sob stories and watch fund raising telethons by the hour. We see celebrities pitching their time and pretty face…and we think that that should at least get other people to give…just not us. We don’t have anything. Right?
This is not a blog about giving. It’s about perspective. And I might have even talked about it before. I have a heart that needs to be reminded about this constantly. When one lives on donations and prayer…one realizes that it is important to listen to God’s voice, as He talks to us and asks us to do things for Him. We need to live in obedience. And I struggle with that quite often. What if He has asked me to do something for someone that was really needed, and I ignored Him? Fear or doubt took over…and I walked away.
There is a story that gets repeated throughout the gospels in the New Testament. The story of the widow who gives her 2 mites, and Jesus says how she gave her all. So, many times we look at the people who have money and status, and assume that they are being generous…with their time and talents. But often they are also ignoring God’s voice. Some of them like to give when they get recognition, and we do grovel at their feet, unfortunately. Society is like this. And so we behave like this. People haven’t changed since creation. Obviously Jesus was using examples from His day…after all, He was watching them at the synagogue. Things haven’t changed, have they?
“Watch out for the religion scholars. They love to walk around in academic gowns, preening in the radiance of public flattery, basking in prominent positions, sitting at the head table at every church function. And all the time they are exploiting the weak and helpless. The longer their prayers, the worse they get. But they’ll pay for it in the end.”
Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection.
Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.” (Mark 12:38-44 MSG)
What has God asked you to give lately? Was it a smile? A kind word? The coat off your back to someone who is cold? Maybe He has asked you to give of your time? Are there widows and elderly who are lonely, just waiting for someone to visit? Is there a poor single mother who needs to go out for a cup of coffee, just to get away from her troubles, for just a moment? Does your neighbor need their driveway shoveled because their back is sore?
We live in a society that values the big gestures. The big donation checks. It is sad, that we are limited in doing good because there isn’t an audience to see how “christian” we are.
What will it take to give our “two bits”? Can we do it without anyone hearing about it? Can I?
I know that I can and I want to. I have to ask Jesus, every day, to give me the opportunity. To give me the heart that loves and cares. To fill me every day with compassion and the desire to spread His love. To be someone who never ignores the opportunity to serve and to give.