“But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins. They were worth much less than a penny.”
— Mark 12:42
As Jesus was teaching in the courtyard of the Temple, He sat and observed people as they came to place their offering in the collection boxes. Time and time again, He watched the wealthy come before others in the temple and make a show of giving large sums of money. Later though a widow appeared carrying with her two tiny coins, the equivalent of less than two pennies. Silently she walked to the collection boxes and placed her meager offering inside. He used that moment to teach the holiness of her gift, (Mark 12:41-44).
But, giving is more than the amount of money you share. What makes giving honest and true is the intent. For me, the power of Jesus’ words when He is describing the widow is not the amount of her two coins. What I always remember of that story is the way she chose to give. She did not make a show of her offering; she did not advertise how much she was giving. She simply approached the collection boxes and offered her gift.
We are called to give. It does not matter if we are giving money to our church, food to our neighbors, or time to a volunteer center. The important thing is that we take the time to give. But when we give, we need to do so with our whole hearts. It needs to be sincere and for the sole purpose of giving and not receiving. Only then can we see the benefits of giving.