Everything She Had

Have you ever gone to church and brought your entire savings account with you?

When you think no one is watching, you slip a check – made out to the amount of “everything I have” – into the offering box, and you leave literally and profoundly empty-handed.

You’re not sure where your next meal is going to come from or how you’ll survive until the next paycheck. But you are compelled to give. Generously. Sacrificially. And joyfully. So you literally give everything you have to live on.

Nope. You’ve never done that. And neither have I, because it’s extreme, and I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to live like that.

Sure, the poor widow in Jesus’ day can do that. But should I?

Some stories in the Bible are just unbelievable and unrealistic. It may have happened once, but it will never happen again.

And maybe it wasn’t meant to happen again. Maybe it was meant to be a once-in-a-lifetime scenario of outrageous proportions designed to simply “put things into perspective” for us 21st-century Christians. We don’t have to literally follow their example or anything.

So we come to the offering box with our 10%. And sometimes we don’t give at all, because we “can’t afford it.”

Right. And that’s what Jesus said to the poor widow. “Oh, you don’t have to do that. You need it more than I do. Don’t worry about giving today.”

Actually, he said nothing to her.

A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:42-44

You and I will leave every “poor widow” sermon {and blog post} saying, “Wow. But God will probably never ask me to give that much . . .”

If he did ask, we wouldn’t hear him. We’re too busy outdoing a poor widow . . .

“That’s great. You do that. Me? I can’t afford to give God that much money. I’ll just give in a figurative sort of way. I’ll give ‘in my heart.’ . . . Ooo, ooo! – I have an idea. I’ll give something better than money – I’ll give my life.”

Cute. Real cute.

 [image credit: unsplash.com]

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