At the end of today’s reading from Mark 12, we find the story of the widow giving money into the treasury (Mark 12:41-44).
We aren’t told if Jesus was the only person who was watching, but I think it’s safe to assume that he wasn’t alone in observing people as they dropped in their offering. Jesus makes the point elsewhere (Matthew 6:3) that our giving should be done in secret.
Jesus is the only person who should know how much we give. Unfortunately, because of the way tax deduction documentation is set up in the US, it’s difficult to truly give in secret. When you drop a check in the offering plate, put cash into an envelope, or make an online donation, more eyes than you think will see your offering.
It’s important to give. Not because the church needs the money. Not because the preacher needs the money. And not because God needs the money. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10). Trust me, He doesn’t need your money!
But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t give. Actually, I would add that we need to give. Giving is good for us. Giving reminds us that everything that we have belongs to God and that we are merely stewards of what He has given us. Everything we receive we should hold with open hands.
Some people give to be seen by others. Some people give in order to receive a tax deduction. But what if you didn’t receive a tax deduction? Would you still give?
When you give, do you give something, just to have something to drop into the offering plate so other people won’t think that you don’t give at all? Or do you give out of the abundance of your heart (and wallet)?
The widow gave what she had… all that she had. How about you?
This devotional was originally published on January 16, 2019.
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* Chapters covered in today’s reading: