How Do You Give?

“A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” – Mark 12:42-44

In the story of the widow’s mite, we see Jesus closely and critically watching people give their offerings. He looked beyond their visible actions and into their hearts. Having observed the widow place her meager but heartfelt offering in the treasury, Jesus made sure the disciples didn’t miss seeing the heart of the widow or the lesson that her giving provided.

Most of us would miss watching the widow. Instead, we would be watching the important looking people in the temple, the ones who made large offerings from their ample funds. We would be impressed by how much they gave. We might even suggest honoring them for their giving or naming a building after them.

But Jesus didn’t call the disciples over to see the big givers. He called them over to notice a poor widow who gave less than a penny.

Why did Jesus fix His attention on the widow? Because she gave more. “She, out of her poverty, put in all she owned,” while the rich men gave out of their surplus. The rich gave what they had left over. This woman didn’t have anything extra; she gave everything she had. Jesus knew this, and He saw her heart.

Remember this: God measures our gift not by its amount, but by our motive.