“For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” - Mark 12:44
Americans are so gullible,” a rescue mission supervisor told me. “Did you hear about the man who went out and raised two hundred dollars in half an hour from people on the street by telling them he was collecting for ‘The Unknown Soldier’s Widow’?” I confessed I hadn’t heard about it, but I wondered if it were true.
I thought about the money that I gave away to charity. Gullible giving is not God’s way. Guidelines have been given to us. Tithes first— 10 percent of all our income. This is his. We touch it not, lest we be guilty of thievery—robbing divinity is a heinous crime! Offerings next. David said, “I cannot present burnt offerings to the LORD my God that have cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24). What say you? Think of the widow. She only had two pennies. She could have thought that two pennies were too little to give. But Jesus didn’t think so. He knew that generous giving from what God has given us will make us richer than the richest king.
Spastic generosity, triggered by nerves, touched off by impassioned pleas of poverty, or doled out to starving unfortunates pictured in scraggy photographs, is not the best help we can give. Careful accounting of our budget—as if we were handling someone else’s funds-is the way to go. After all, we are merely stewards, and as the Bible reminds us, “A person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).
For Further Study: Mark 12:41-44
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.