We all know the story of the woman who gave all she had for an offering to Jesus (Mark 12:44.) She gave out of her poverty. In the story Jesus says even though she only gave a little bit she gave the most. There were many Pharisees there giving a significant amount of money because they had much to spare. But this woman gave all she had. I believe that if she didn’t have money she would’ve found a way to give something.
We can all give out of our poverty. It doesn’t have to be money. We can give grace when we feel someone doesn’t deserve it. Giving out of our poverty means we still give when we feel like we don’t have enough of anything to spare. Sometimes being a mom can feel like we are giving out of our poverty. When I am sitting here wondering where I am going to get another ounce of energy that’s when I feel like I am giving out of my poverty.
Another lesson I learned through this story is that there is really no comparison in the eyes of Jesus. It’s really difficult to measure your faith by how much you give.
It’s not about how much you give, it’s about why you give.
It’s not about how much you serve, it’s about why you serve.
It’s not about how “good” you are or that you follow the law perfectly, it’s about why you are following Jesus.
God measures our faith not in ways that man measures our faith. This will bring you so much freedom if you let it.
Is everything we have, and do, for The Lord? Do we serve and give to The Lord out of our surplus or out of our poverty? The women who gave so little was able to give because The Lord had already been doing a work in her heart. The kind of faith it took to give and let go of all the money she had is truly just a reflection of where her heart was in life. She was surrendering so much more than just her last bit of money. She was surrendering all control of her life to God.
We can be really possessive and controlling of so many things in our life, it doesn’t have to be money. Jesus instructs the Pharisees that yes, we should tithe, but we need to care about the more important things, too. The Pharisees measured their faith by how much they tithed, and that they followed the law, but their hearts were full evil things.
When we give out of our surplus we don’t give much. It doesn’t cost us anything. There is no sacrifice. When we give out of our surplus it may feel like a sacrifice because it is painful. We might think about what we could do with that money, or that time. It’s painful because we are still struggling with our own fear and doubt. But when we are living every moment of our life for God it surprisingly doesn’t feel too much like a sacrifice. It might hurt in the moment, but usually the pain is only brought on by our own fear and doubt. When Jesus was headed to the cross you could see the pain, the fear, and even the doubt in his prayer. But God strengthened Him and as He went to the cross he was able to endure a lot of what most of us couldn’t even have went through. But Jesus did, and His sacrifice wasn’t an easy one, but He was strengthened and able to do it.
That’s what living life for Christ is like, it is a sacrifice but we have the strength to overcome!
Sometimes I feel like my writing is flawed and not good enough. But where it comes from, and who I do it for, makes it more than enough.
More doesn’t mean better, less doesn’t mean inferior.
We cling to what we want to control. Our fears reveal what we love more than God. In order to change our hearts we need to value God over everything, we do this by:
- Identify with Christ: The rich young ruler was always looking for ways to be a “better” (maybe even the best) Christian. If we were honest with ourselves, and others, then I think we all want to find ways to be the one who gives the most, loves perfectly, has perfect faith, and never waivers under the pressures and reality of life. How many times have we sat in the ashes of life wondering if we are a good enough Christian? How many times have we approached God with the question “What can I do to inherit eternal life?” We are always looking for more, but Jesus was so clear that his burden is light and we don’t need to be better or the best in order to live a life for Him, we just need to live and give. This is something that is very difficult to do when we are clinging to anything or anyone other than Jesus.
- Hold on lightly: I think it’s very instinctual to protect the things we love. As a parent I have struggled with so much anxiety when it comes to being a mom, or trying to be a good enough mom. The best mom, a wonderful mom, the perfect mom. But I never really achieved this. Now I am learning to let go and hold on lightly to my children because they are growing up and they need to go out into the world and make a life for themselves. All I can do is pray and be there for them. My oldest daughter is getting ready to graduate high school and she is an adult. What more can I do than to encourage her, support her, and pray for her? I will always be here for my children, but God has helped me to let go and trust. It helps to break me free from that anxiety I struggled with when they were younger.
- Let Go: I have blogged about this very topic so many times, I know! It seems like everyday I am letting go of something and it’s painful but worth it in the long run. Letting go reveals our trust and submission to God. It is that one thing that makes the burden of sacrifice light and it releases us from that anxiety. When we let go we are putting our true faith in God and He will give us the strength to overcome, just like Jesus did when He submitted to God’s will and not His own will.
I believe the woman who was able to give little but gave the most did these three things. She found her value in Christ, she held on lightly to what she had been given, and she was able to freely let go.
P.S. Hopefully this free scripture image of 2 Corinthians 9:7 will be an encouragement to you. You can download it here by clicking on this link: 2 Corinthians 9:7 Scripture Image
Love is selfless and it is constantly pursuing ways to bridge the gap of disconnection in the world. Love brings freedom, not only to us, but also to those around us. When we are walking in love we desire the best for people. In this four week mini Bible Study come and explore what unconditional love looks like in your life today.