My Bible commentary notes that the widow in the story dropped her money into the box for freewill offering, different than the mandatory Temple tax boxes. (Women were only allowed to be in a certain area in the Temple, and I love that Jesus was with them!) Basically this woman was under no social pressure to give the last bit of her money, but willingly gave to God what she could.
Jesus is not quiet about his expectation and love for generous and sacrificial giving; he talks about it a lot. There are usually two reactions to the topic of tithing. People either feel like they should be giving more or that they don’t have anything to give.
I’ve noticed the areas that I don’t feel like I can give from are absolutely the areas I should. I don’t have any time to sacrifice to read my Bible or pray. I don’t have anything to offer to my church and have been hurt by communities in the past. I don’t have any extra money to give away, I’m barely covering my bills. Sound familiar? The things we hold tightly, for fear of losing, need to be the things we surrender to the Lord.
We are called to live sacrificial lives, which means we need to be willing to “tithe”, or offer back, more than just our money to Jesus. But he sure mentions finances a lot.
He doesn’t want us to idolize it and he doesn’t want us to worry about it. Both of those things take away from him being God. He wants to be the most important thing in our lives. He wants the credit as the provider. He wants to meet our needs and allow us to trust him with tangible things like bills from dental work and rent being raised. He cares about those things! Money means nothing to him, and everything to the world we live in. I’d much rather be at his mercy than the bank’s; he is worth obeying and trusting in this area.
The text today encourages me to give more radically, of all my resources.
What area does he want more of from you?