On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 60: Giving Your All: Part 2

“And (Jesus) said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them;
for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had’” (Luke 21:1-4 RSV) .

The Gospel story of “The Widow’s Mite” is very well-known. As Jesus observes those who were making offerings at the temple in Jerusalem, he sees two types of givers. First there are those who make a great show of the great amount they have given; second there was the widow who gave all that she had.

The large donations of the rich had deprived them of no comfort or even luxury. Their giving required no sacrifice. This poor widow, so much a picture of the widow who gave all her food to the Holy Prophet Elias leaving none for herself or her son, gave her last two coins to give support to what she held to be most important in her life. What she held to be important was of more value than money, and, now without anything, perhaps more important than even her own life. The value of the widow’s mites could not even be compared to the value of any other gift.

It is the motive that gives value to our acts. Not the great things that every eye sees and every tongue praises that are accounted most precious in the eyes of God. A heart that is full of faith and love and sacrifice is dearer to God than the most costly gift.

The poor widow gave her living to do the little that she did. She deprived herself of food in order to give these two mites to the cause she loved. And she did it in faith, believing that her heavenly Father would not overlook her great need. It was this unselfish spirit and childlike faith that won Christ’s commendation.

And what of the rich and wealthy? In this Gospel story, those “rich” who gave, we are told, gave “out of their abundance.” And after they had given? They still had abundance. They gave not in sacrifice. They suffered nothing from their giving. And they had no increase in reliance upon the graciousness of God than they had before they gave their gift.

Our stewardship, as a way of life, is best shown when we give “till it hurts” as the old saying goes. If when we give of ourselves to Christ and His Church we do not increase our reliance upon God to provide, then we, too, have simply given out of our abundance. “…she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had…”

This weekly series of brief thoughts on stewardship and Orthodox life is brought to you by your Diocesan Stewardship Commission.

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60.  Giving Your All II

 

“And (Jesus) said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them;
for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had’”
(Luke 21:1-4 RSV) .

          The Gospel story of “The Widow’s Mite” is very well-known. As Jesus observes those who were making offerings at the temple in Jerusalem, he sees two types of givers. First there are those who make a great show of the great amount they have given; second there was the widow who gave all that she had.

 

          The large donations of the rich had deprived them of no comfort or even luxury. Their giving required no sacrifice. This poor widow, so much a picture of the widow who gave all her food to the Holy Prophet Elias leaving none for herself or her son, gave her last two coins to give support to what she held to be most important in her life. What she held to be important was of more value than money, and, now without anything, perhaps more important than even her own life. The value of the widow’s mites could not even be compared to the value of any other gift.

 

          It is the motive that gives value to our acts. Not the great things that every eye sees and every tongue praises that are accounted most precious in the eyes of God. A heart that is full of faith and love and sacrifice is dearer to God than the most costly gift.

 

          The poor widow gave her living to do the little that she did. She deprived herself of food in order to give these two mites to the cause she loved. And she did it in faith, believing that her heavenly Father would not overlook her great need. It was this unselfish spirit and childlike faith that won Christ’s commendation.

 

          And what of the rich and wealthy? In this Gospel story, those “rich” who gave, we are told, gave “out of their abundance.” And after they had given? They still had abundance. They gave not in sacrifice. They suffered nothing from their giving. And they had no increase in reliance upon the graciousness of God than they had before they gave their gift.

 

          Our stewardship, as a way of life, is best shown when we give “till it hurts” as the old saying goes. If when we give of ourselves to Christ and His Church we do not increase our reliance upon God to provide, then we, too, have simply given out of our abundance. “…she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had…”

                  


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