Should We Give like the Poor Widow in Scripture Who Gave Her Last Two Coins?
In Mark 12, we meet the poor widow who gave two small coins in the temple treasury as her offering. In verse 42, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."
At church, I was asked, “If Jesus commended her for this gift, shouldn’t we too give all we have?” Great question.
First, the widow is considered one of the greatest givers in Scripture. Her action points to her heart that Jesus is worthy of everything she had. She teaches us the right attitude and motives for giving. But she is not considered the greatest saver in Scripture. The Bible points to Joseph who saved a nation and the people of God by saving 20% of the grain Pharaoh collected during seven good years. In Proverbs 6 and 30, we are pointed to the lowly ant to learn the habit of saving during the harvest to have something for the winter. So yes, we should give like this widow with a heart attitude of God’s absolute worthiness to have all we possess, but we should also save like the ant.
Finally, God commending her actions does not make her more righteous. He used her pure heart to point out the hardened hearts of the Pharisees and to encourage all the givers of the world that any gift with the right attitude matters greatly in God’s kingdom. But she was not more righteous. Only the grace of God makes her or you and me righteous in His eyes.