Read through the Gospels in a Year: Mark 12:35-44
Read the New Testament in a Year: 2 Corinthians 10
“Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.” —Mark 12:43
If you see someone’s checkbook, you can figure out a great deal about their priorities. We spend money on things that are important to us, and the way we handle our finances is a good way to check the condition of our hearts.
In the story of the widow’s offering, Jesus looks at the act of giving as something more than providing for the needs of temple ministry. After watching in silence while generous donors placed large amounts in the temple treasury, Jesus noticed that a poor widow donated two small coins worth less than a penny. Jesus was not impressed because of all that would be accomplished with two copper coins; he was impressed by the condition of the widow’s heart. Her gift revealed her priorities.
The act of giving can reveal the condition of our hearts, and it can also be part of the process of shaping our priorities. Whenever we invest in something, we immediately become more attuned to our investment. When a newlywed couple buys their first home, or a young entrepreneur invests in her new business, they quickly learn about caring for their new purchase, because it is such a significant investment. The act of financially supporting ministries for God’s work is good for those ministries, but it is also good for our hearts, because in the process of giving, our hearts can be drawn nearer to God.