THE WIDOW’S MITES
“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, ‘Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had’” (Luke 21:1-4 NKJV).
Jesus Christ was sitting in a place in the temple in Jerusalem where He could see people placing their offerings into the temple treasury. Apart from the rich people that offered substantial amounts of money or gifts, a widow came and offered two mites (a mite was the smallest copper or bronze coin among the Jews). Ordinarily, her offering was insignificant, but, Jesus saw its significance, and He pointed it out to His disciples. According to Him, the poor widow gave more than the others because while the others gave out of their abundance, she gave out of her poverty all that she had.
People (including me!) have been misapplying the action of this widow for many years. In fact, it has become part of our vocabulary. It is common to hear, “to contribute one’s widow’s mite.” The general meaning of that clause is that one is contributing at least a small amount to a cause. However, from the widow’s example in the Bible, a widow’s mite should be a contribution (especially small) that comes out a generous heart of somebody who has little or nothing to give.
There are some implications from the event of the widow’s mites. One should know that: One, God takes note of all men and all things. All our actions are before His eyes. What we do in public and what we do in private are equally known unto him. Two, God’s standard of laudable generosity to His cause is not what we give out of our abundance, but what we give out of our deficiency - what costs us some real sacrifice, that is, sacrificial giving. The Macedonian churches demonstrated such a kind of giving (see 2 Corinthians 8:1-7). However, this does not mean that God does not accept the offerings of those that have in abundance. Three, God does not despise the humblest offering, if made in sincerity. He loves a cheerful giver (see 2 Corinthians 9:6-7). Four, giving should not be something done out of coercion or subtleness of the so-called recipient. It should be done willingly and wholeheartedly.
What is your attitude towards giving your substance to the cause of the gospel? Can your giving be considered as really a widow’s mite? Or are you giving reluctantly, out of coercion, or by the subtleness of your spiritual leaders? How can you really give your widow’s mite to God in a way that He will appreciate it and reward you for it?
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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