...running the course God sets before us, no matter the cost, no matter the task, to the end, for His glory

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Poverty and Generosity and The Widow's Mite

By the world's standards, we are anything but poor.

In fact, by the world's standard we are doing fine. I don't think many Americans understand poverty, anyway. It is just not something we are intimately acquainted with.

But sometimes it feels like we are.

There are times when the requirements and the checkbook are in total disagreement.

There are times when the cars sound bad, and the cupboards are sparse, and the phone bill is higher than expected, and the dentist finds cavities, and, and, and...

This is not really poverty. But once again, it can feel like it.

So, in times like that, what happens to our giving? When the budget is squeezed? When the economy is bad? When the excuses for why we can't give sound perfectly logical and sound?
I have wrestled with these questions often lately.

But I read a quote in a book today that defies my logic:
How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
(2 Cor. 8:2)

Joy can arise out of trials, and poverty and generosity can live together...Jesus is our example; He possessed nothing on this earth, but He had everything to give, even His life." -Michael Whit

This reminds me of the story of the widow in the temple. Jesus sat and watched as wealthy people put in LOTS of money. But when the widow put in two mites, it was something He wanted to point out to His disciples.
Mark 12:41-44 Then he sat down opposite the offering box, and watched the crowd putting coins into it. Many rich people were throwing in large amounts. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. He called his disciples and said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. For they all gave out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in what she had to live on, everything she had.”
It wasn't about the amount. It was never about the amount.

It was about the ALL.

It wasn't the leftovers. It wasn't what wouldn't be noticed. It wasn't the extra.

And I don't think this principle just applies just to money. Not only is my money limited, but so is my time, and my energy, and my availability, and my love, and my patience, and my long-suffering.

I think the only thing I am not poor in is my need.

Maybe THAT is why Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:3)

Oh my, that gives me comfort. He knows all about my poverty. He loves me anyway. He desires me to share His kingdom with Him- where there is endless joy and no need.

And He does not require nor need vast amounts from me. He requires and desires, but still does not need, something more- my all.

So Lord, out of my poverty, in all areas of my life, I vow to give You my mites- my all.

Because You are so immeasurable and supremely worth it.

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