“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”
Luke 21:3-4 NLT
“I would do so much more if only I had more money.” This is a common phrase among believers and it stems from the belief that generosity is a product of abundance.
However, the comment Jesus made in our anchor text as he watched people put money into the offering bowl in the synagogue, portrays otherwise.
The idea that a widow’s tiny offering would mean more than the offerings of the rich was foreign to the disciples, who previously thought riches gave people an upper hand in the kingdom (Matthew 19:23-25).
So also today, the body of Christ still suffers from a works based mentality towards generosity.
Let’s look at how Apostle Paul urges the Corinthian church to think differently.
In 2 Corinthians 8, he commends the Macedonian church to those in Corinth because of their great acts of generosity. Though, in the depth of affliction and poverty, they gave to the point that the apostles had to beg them to stop. Paul calls their generosity a grace of God and urges the Corinthian church to grow in this grace as they have done others (2 Corinthians 8:7).
Then, he explains that giving should not be out of compulsion or necessity. Rather, it should be out of a cheerful heart and according to the ability of the giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). He followed this by speaking of a sufficiency that allows a person to abound in good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 KJV says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”
Many people interpret this to mean that they would have so much abundance that they would be able to give freely. However, this is not the case. The Greek word translated as sufficiency is “aurtakeia” which means ‘contentment”. Therefore, contentment is the true motivation for generosity.
This is the contentment Paul spoke of in Philippians 4:11-12 that allowed him to abound in all things. It is an entire satisfaction that causes us to see God as our soul’s delight not money or possessions. Thus, allowing us to give ourselves and our resources freely to the purposes of God.
Brethren, you don’t need to have in abundance before you give. Freely you’ve been given, so, freely give. What you have now, though small to you, may be exactly what another person needs.
Remember, whoever is faithful in little would be faithful in much. Learn to start with what you have now and you’ll realize that you cannot be perpetually generous if you are not perpetually content.
Bible Reading Plan
Luke 6:37-42, Philippians 4:1-7, Psalms 120, 2 Kings 20-21