“He said, ‘Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had’ ” (Luke 21:1–4).
In 2010, two of the wealthiest and most generous people on the planet, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, started a campaign to encourage other billionaires to contribute half or more of their fortune to help others.
Well over 140 people have pledged over a third of a trillion dollars. It’s an admirable sum and a commendable project, but why do many rich people need to be prompted into giving?
Research studies have shown that the wealthy tend to give less and are less likely to empathize with the needs of others—and that poor people tend to be more empathetic and generous in their donations and give a larger percentage of their income. No wonder Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24).
One day in the temple, the rich came with loads of money and made a show of their large donations, none of which impacted their standard of living. Then a widow came in, waited timidly for her opportunity, and then dropped two tiny coins totalling a fraction of a penny into the offering.
Jesus, who had watched intently, told His disciples, “This poor widow has put in more than all” (Luke 21:3). The woman was overwhelmed and encouraged as she heard His kind words. Someone had seen her sacrifice and understood that she had given all she had to the cause of God out of love and respect for her Lord.
The woman left without a penny to her name. At that point, she was unable to provide for herself. But she wasn’t worried. Unlike the wealthy donors, this woman trusted in God to care for all her needs. He had done it before; He would do it again.
Dear God, help me trust fully in You rather than in money, knowing that You will provide for all my needs.
For Further Study: Mark 12:41–44; 1 Timothy 6:10; Matthew 6:24