I had an interesting conversation recently with a dear friend who is not a believer. We were discussing her sister who is disabled. At present, she lives in a nursing home, but for many years she worked at a nursery and attended a small church near her apartment. My friend was upset that the church accepted a $10 donation each week from her sister, who was not financially set.
“Why would they take that money from her,” my friend fumed, “she’s one of the people they should have been helping!”
Immediately, the narrative of the widow and her offering, and what it meant to Jesus came to mind. It is outlined in Mark 12:41-44:
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”Mark 12:41-44
My friend felt her sister’s church had pressured her to give; I am not sure that was the case. The role of giving in a believer’s life is part of a larger conversation she and I need to have. Realistically, the heart of a true giver is only tenuously tied to circumstances. Jesus points this out as he spotlights the widow’s sacrificial gift. She gives without any income. She gives while experiencing her own dire circumstances. She gives quietly, secretly, with no desire to impress. She gives with one focus–honoring God sacrificially, directly from her heart.
Why give like that? Why did my friend’s sister happily give each time the offering was taken? It comes down to one word–softer. Giving makes our hearts softer–to our Savior, to others, to the reality of faith. Sacrificial giving puts us where God can use us for His greater glory, where His blessings flow through our lives instead of getting stuck up there. It increases our dependence on Him. It reminds us this is not where we store our treasure. Heaven is.
Jesus sits opposite of the donation box, attuned to who is giving what and where their motives lie. He notices. The widow did not give to be known, but the power of her gift still echoes. Her generosity speaks volumes about the softness of her heart.
Powerful gifts help enact change. Change can be measured by all sorts of metrics. At Fieldstone, we measure change by lives that are impacted with the lasting hope of the gospel. We see God work on both sides of the giving equation to bless; both givers and recipients are impacted by the beauty of powerful donations. Both experience the blessing of softer hearts.
We welcome you to our team of major donors, who from a soft heart use what God has given to share biblically-based, Christ-centered, clinically informed care with those who need hope. Thank you for your role in caring, giving, and BUILDING in. Many are blessed by your powerful gifts!
Crystal is a Christ-follower, wife, mother, counselor, and friend. She is passionate about connecting others with the truth of God's miraculous power and sustaining presence.