Monday, March 16, 2015

Soul Sister's Series #6, The Generous Woman

One by one they came. It was a showcase of the rich and powerful.  Elaborate flowing robes rustled as they paraded into the courtyard of the temple. Pulling out their money bags, they poured the coins into the brass offering receptacles. The jangle of the coins resounded throughout the courtyard, bringing the desired affect; attention. 

Another person entered the courtyard. A poor, elderly woman walked tentatively toward the receptacles, her head bowed. She pulled out a couple of small coins and dropped them in, a tinkle barely audible, an offering ignored. She turned and shuffled away, inconspicuous to the liberal givers all around her. No one noticed and no one cared. 

Jesus sat nearby watching the rich dump their money, and gather their praise. He made no comment, and offered no admiration for their generosity. Yet this woman caught his attention. He watched closely as she dropped her coins in and left. His heart was touched. 

Quickly gathering His disciples to Him, He said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out their wealth, but she, out of her poverty, put in everything-all she had to live on.”

Two tiny mites; the smallest coins in size and quantity.  Why bother with such a minute offering? Compared with bags of gold, this didn’t seem worth the trouble. This woman could have looked at the coins in her hand and thought; I don’t measure up to the others. So why give? What difference does it make anyway?

Sometimes after I teach, write or speak, the feelings of futility can be overwhelming.  The results aren’t what I expected, perhaps the way I communicated the message wasn’t eloquent.  It would be so easy to compare myself with other gifted people and think, “Why even try. I can’t speak or write as fluently as they can. I’m not as beautiful or talented as she is.” 

Sometimes in the process of writing my blogs, I think, “What I am doing? I can’t write like Max Lucado, or other well known authors. I have trouble even writing a profound sentence. What kind of impact is this going to have?” And so it goes…endless comparisons and assessments that get me nowhere, but discourage me from giving my all.

This woman didn’t get all caught up in these entanglements. She gave freely out of her poverty. And she caught the eye of God. Her gift impacts our lives two thousand years later. 

What we give makes a powerful impact in people’s lives. Sometimes when we don’t get any positive feedback we experience those feelings of futility and are tempted to shut ourselves up. God has placed certain people in your life that no one else could touch. No one else can give what you can give. He has placed treasures inside your storeroom. When you pull them out and share them, it powerfully touches people. 

Now what if I became fixated on my insecurities, “I can’t pray like so and so, so my prayers aren’t as powerful. I don’t connect with the teenagers like Miss Sue, so I’m not effective in ministry.” What if I allowed envy of the worship leader’s singing talents to hinder me? I could look at the talents in my hands and think, “I don’t have much to offer like they do. What difference does it make anyway?” What if I close my hand and my heart? What if I question the Potter’s intentions in His moldings and shapings? 

Perhaps I can’t do or be like other talented women. But God has gifted me with my own unique talents and abilities. He has placed people in my own life that only I can impact. I just need to give freely. Not for recognition, for the approval of others, or what I can get out of it.  You see, what’s important here is how I give, not what. 

That’s what caught the eye of Jesus. Not the coins, but her precious heart. She gave more than the rich, because she gave out of her poverty. It was a genuine sacrifice. She gave trusting that God would see and bless it. She gave purely out of love. 

If Jesus is impressed by a poor widow’s offering will He not be touched by your gift? If He can take a little boy’s box lunch and multiply it to feed multitudes, can’t He take your gift and use it powerfully? Take your eyes off the coins in your hand; let go and give freely. Share those treasures you hold inside. Tell of what God has done. Impart the lessons learned. Reveal your precious heart. Someone needs to hear. 

There are hungry people in your life, and you are the fresh, loaf of bread. Offer yourself freely, allow Him to break you and minister to these needy ones.

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