Remember Jesus’ story in Mark 12:41-44 about the treasury. The heavy hitters were dropping some real coin into the treasury while “one poor widow came and threw in two mites” or the equivalent of a fraction of a penny,which was all that she had. Jesus downplayed the rich for giving out of their abundance while applauding the widow for giving out of her poverty. It’s so easy to identify with this story yet I’m afraid that most of the time, it’s far too remote to connect relevance to it in our own lives. We may identify with it, but we fail to exemplify it.
Giving requires sacrifice. The poor widow gave all she had. That’s like giving a gallon of water out of a puddle. It’s easy to assume that she went back home to the same old routine but surely, it must have stung a little. In her day to day struggle to make ends meet, how much more was she going to have to endure by giving the little that she had? Maybe she had to skip a meal or two, clip coupons, work a few extra jobs, ride an old beater of a donkey, or even beg on the street to recover the difference. Whatever she had to do, I’m sure it hurt some.
Giving without sacrifice is not charity; it’s a travesty. Giving the little you want out of all you have is disgraceful. That’s like giving a gallon of water from the ocean; what are you really giving up or doing without? You don’t honor God by giving the scraps off your table while you sit there belching up filet mignon. Giving God’s way is not giving the rest, it’s giving your best; it’s not meant to be comfortable, it’s meant to be comforting; it’s not a burden but a blessing; it shouldn’t be done out of obligation but out of affection; it shouldn’t take an act of Congress but an act of obedience. Giving is not a means to an end, it’s your source. Don’t give God your leftovers, go without a meal once in a while–you can afford to lose a few pound$ anyway (pun intended: think British money, not weight). No pain, no gain––give with all your mite!