A few weeks ago I posted a survey on Facebook “What do you think:
If I (Marah) had to choose only one type of donation to receive, who would it be from, the widow or the rich young ruler?” I had a few responses from close friends who know my heart and know how I’d answer, the widow, but my answer deserves some explanation.
In the Bible there are references to these two individuals, separate instances. In one instance, Jesus was approached by a wealthy man (the rich young ruler) and asked what he needed to do to get into heaven. Jesus told him what he already knew, to obey the 10 commandments. “I’ve done that since I was a young boy,” he said. Jesus then instructed him to go home and sell everything he had and give the money to the poor. After he did those things he could follow Jesus and get into heaven. The wealthy man was disappointed and left sad because he was attached to his money. Jesus followed up with his disciples explaining that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle then a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Ouch! (Matt 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30)
Jesus was with his disciples in the temple (church). He watched as the wealthy gave their gifts (tithes), not so impressed by their show of riches. Then, a widow women came and gave 2 small coins (pennies), all she had. Jesus nudged his disciples, did you see that woman? He explained that the wealthy gave out of their excess, after they payed their bills and treated themselves, but she gave everything she had to honor God. She gave the greater offering. (Luke 21:1-4; Mark 12:41-44) Wow!
Now, as a missionary called by God to give up everything so others may have everything they need in Him, I know the importance of having financial resources to fulfill this call. So if a wealthy man decided he wanted to give me his financial resources to be used for God’s glory, I’d be all for it. But if I had to choose the heart condition of the people I partner with to do ministry, I choose the widow who gave everything for God. I would take a couple pennies given with a pure and honest heart over thousands of dollars given by someone who wants to glorify their own name and actions.
This is truly a beautiful lesson the Lord has given us for today. We must always look at the condition of our heart. Do we do what we do to gain acceptance or show off, or do we live and give all we have to God because we love Him? I choose to have a full heart even if my pockets are empty.