The faith of the generous widow astounds us. She absolutely trusts that God will take care of her every need even though she was giving of her last dollars. The widow gave in faith. Not faith in the institution to which she gave. Her faith was in God. Where is mine?
1 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Our gifts are not measured in the quantity of the dollars and cents. They are not even measured in terms of the power they bring to leverage or invest or underwrite activities. Gifts are measured in the hearts of the giver.
This widow was poor. Her contribution to the temple was two very small copper coins. It was, in fact, ‘all she had to live on.’ In dollars and cents, her gift was small, yet in proportion to her means, it was extremely large. She clearly did not leave anything for herself.
I am struck heavily by the examples of people in the Bible who are generous in poverty. From the perspective of tremendous need, their generosity flows toward others. This is a Spirit-motivated attitude of sharing.
How’s your generosity doing? My generosity suffers occasionally from judge-the-recipient-itus. I want to ensure the person or entity to which I give will be wise with my gift. It’s good stewardship to making giving decisions, in part, with this kind of discernment. And it is also one of the red herrings of biblical generosity.
The faith of the generous widow astounds us. She absolutely trusts that God will take care of her every need. By modern standards, a person who is giving of the last of her means should have even more desire to scrutinize the temple budget and the stewardship of the priests. The widow gave in faith. Not faith in the institution to which she gave. Her faith was in God.
We have to reconcile all of this into the modern world and figure things out with the Lord and our wallets. I get it… Perhaps, though, we can trust much more in God and worry less about the recipients of our gifts. If God sparks generosity in me, I want to respond to God and trust that God is the God of the giver and the receiver. God is the God of all. The earth and all its contents are his, not mine.
Thank you, widow, for showing us faith.