The wealthy are piling into the temple dropping large coins – lots of them – into the treasury. Each donation a loud clanging sound as it drops into the trumpet-shaped metal receptacle designed to literally hear the size of the offering. Impressive nods abound as the clanging is louder and more prolonged. A poor widow comes and drops in two small coins, the value of a penny. They make barely as sound as they hit the collection vessel. Small; unimpressive to the watching religious leaders. But not so to Jesus. Jesus says her offering is more than all the others, because she contributed out of her poverty where the others contributed out of abundance. She gave everything. All she had to live on. A.W. Tozer says, “Not by size is my gift judged, but by how much of me there is in it.”
The King James Widow’s Offering recount in Mark 12:41-44 is translated as the Widow’s Mite. Mite is a very small coin, worth practically nothing. I love this translation because it turns out the widow’s mite was awfully mighty in God’s eyes.
You’ve likely heard this story as part of a stewardship message on sacrificial giving. But as I was re-reading it today, I thought about our non-financial gifts as well.
Maybe it’s writing, creating, music, teaching, mentoring, leading, encouraging, tutoring, speaking, or any number of gifts. We are quick to be hard on ourselves; critical and insecure about what we have to offer. We think our gifts are merely a mite. Small, unimpressive, insignificant, of no use in the bigger scheme of things. But it’s a lie. A lie that keeps us from putting ourselves in the game.
The woman has a heart focused on God and wanted to be part of the worship. She didn’t make excuses…” I need it more than they do. It’s all I have. It is so small. It won’t make a difference. I’ll give a little and hold back just in case.”
We may be holding out because we don’t think we have enough, or aren’t ready yet, or don’t feel qualified enough, or are afraid we will fail. We tightly cling to our gifts and passions, instead of giving them all away. We think they are mite, but God can use them mightily.
The truth is, God doesn’t NEED us. He can make miracles happen with His words alone. He WANTS us. He wants us to step out in faith. He wants us to take what little we have, place it in the receptacle of our God-ordained spaces, and watch Him multiply it.
What mite are you clinging to, despite that ongoing nudge to give it to God? What is holding you back? What can you do today to position yourself to share it?
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