1As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3″I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4 (NIV)
This past weekend, I watched Oprah’s Big Give for the first time. Now, I do not watch Oprah’s talk show, but the theme for the Big Give show interested me. As my husband says, “It’s right up my alley.”
The premise of the show is that contestants compete to “outgive” one another. They think there is nothing in it for them except to go out and change the lives of total strangers, which, in my mind, would be a tremendous blessing. What they don’t know is that the “last man standing” will receive 1 million dollars from Oprah.
In the episode that I watched this past weekend, the contestants were given $700,000…$100,00 per contestant as there were seven contestants left competing, to spend in 24 hours. The rules were that they could not give more than $500 to any one individual, and they could not give more than $10,000 in any one location. They also were not allowed to give the individuals cash directly. So, they had to come up with creative, innovative ways to help people without just handing them money. And, they only had 24 hours in which to accomplish their task.
I admit, it was more difficult than one might think, especially in that amount of time. Only one of the seven contestants was able to give away the entire $100,000. Several other’s gave away between $60,000 and $80,000.
This is a concept that I have thought about often. I have always wondered what it might be like to have extreme financial wealth and be able to help every person I meet who is in need.
I enjoy giving to other’s. It makes me feel good to know that I have made a difference in someone’s life regardless of how big or small the offering might have been.
In the passage of scripture referenced above, Jesus watched as the rich put their gifts in the temple treasury. Then He saw a widow give two small copper coins. Jesus said that her gift was greater than all the rest because the rich gave from their wealth, but she gave out of her poverty. She gave all she had to live on. Her gift was truly a sacrifice.
I don’t have untold wealth. I can not even imagine how the Oprah’s or Bill Gate’s of the world live. But there are many in this world who can not imagine how I live. I AM wealthy compared to many people in this world. I give, but I could and should do more.
May the widow in Luke 21 be an example to us all of what it means to truly give to other’s.