The cries for help cascade down with unceasing frequency. Newsletters, celebrities, radio talk-show hosts and TV commentators point out unspeakable atrocities inflicted upon ordinary people around the globe. We are inundated with the verifiable cries for financial help in places we cannot even find on the map. Our hearts break.
And just as we are about to send money to an organization, headlines scream of corruption and fraud. Plastered on newspaper’s front pages and TV screens are images of charitable foundation CEO’s, accused of theft. What can we do?
We have probably all heard of or read the Bible story about the poor widow who gave a few cents in her offering box. This seemingly insignificant act may have passed unnoticed except fo the watchful eyes of a nearby man—Jesus Christ. His observation is recorded in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 12:
“Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins (worth about a penny). Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
How does that story help us give or determine to whom we should give? Or how much we should give.
I believe we can glean at least two important lessons from the sacrificial giving of this biblical widow:
- We are without excuse when it comes to sacrificial giving, using her as our example.
- The smallest amount will do, as long as we give.
Combining sacrifice with giving opens new doors of opportunity for us. Do you have a local food bank or shelter?: Is there a halfway house in your travels that you’ve passed many times, wondering how you could help? Perhaps you’ve heard of a church who feeds the hungry and poor. Now you can help by giving the smallest amount or volunteering.
Say you live in an area with a population of 10,000. What if everyone gave $1 dollar a month to a charitable organization? That would amount to $10,000! There truly is power in small contributions.