When it comes to giving, some people stop at nothing. That’s why we should give to God what’s right and not what’s left. Of course, if you give to God according to your income….He might make your income according to your giving. Why? Because God looks at your heart…not your hand (the giver)…..and not the gift.
Mark 12: 41-44 (TNIV)
41 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. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Giving back to God a portion of what he has blessed us with financially, is very misunderstood. To sum up what Jesus is teaching us here in Mark 12:41-44, God wants our heart. He wants us to give with a generous heart attitude.
When I was younger I wondered why we were expected to “pay” to go to church. Interestingly enough, my world opened up when I surrendered my life to Jesus. Additionally, my world opened up when I figured out what giving was all about and when I started to give. There was a time when I felt like I was giving a lot if I slipped $10 in the offering plate (I usually gave $5). At that time, I was making substantially more than I am now, owned a candle company, worked full time and we had a really hard time making ends meet. Do you know the feeling when you have a hard time just paying your bills?
A little boy once asked his dad in the restaurant, “Dad, why is it that the waitress get’s 15%, and if she’s really good, you give her 20%, but you give God only 10%?” Okay, of course that’s a joke. My intention is not to make you feel guilty. Maybe it’s to create a little perspective, however, in that joke is not even a hint of what giving is all about……TRUST.
When I surrendered my heart to Jesus fully in 2003….many things changed. One thing that changed was my understanding of giving. I had it backward most of my life. I thought I was giving money to the church because God needed it! The truth is, what God wanted was my heart, not my money.
I became determined to give to God sacrificially rather than begrudgingly. My life changed as my heart changed. Financially, making considerably less than I did back then, I have a few wants, but my needs are always covered. As I started to listen to God, indeed, as I started to listen to Jesus, and as I not only applied His wisdom to my life but also built a daily relationship with Him…well….all I can say is that my life has changed in ways that I would never have imagined. I have never looked back!