Have you ever given out of your poverty?
As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All 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
I have pondered this. Initially, I thought this entry would tell a story similar to this passage’s explicit scenario. Nah. That would be too easy, especially in this time when I am being pressed in a particular area. Let’s reflect honestly.
Sometimes, financial giving is seemingly easier than the giving of your time and talents. With so much hurt and pain in the world (in the nation, in your community, in your church), let us not continue to ignore the why in this.
- Are you too “busy” to notice that your Brother or Sister (your neighbor) is depressed, suicidal, hungry…? (Come here Elijah, Job, Jonah, and Jeremiah…I see you.)
- Are you still feeling the sting from being rejected by the very people/person God continues to redirect you to minister? (Long after the trend has faded, who continues to ask, “WWJD”?)
- Have you stepped away from a difficult situation because your flesh said so, but His guidance is now saying, “Go back”? (Moses, where are you?)
Hmmm…..I don’t think you are feeling the depth of these questions? Have you ever been at the end of yourself, more than tired and exhausted, emotional spent, physically weak….just here, and barely that? (Well, I can be a little dramatic at times but you get the picture right? Anyway…) It is at that point and place in one’s spiritual journey that I am signaling for recollection. It was there, at that point of poverty, where I discovered, in a way unlike ever before, my bottom line. I looked at the numbers—checked and double-checked the math, evaluated the equations, reviewed the formulas. With great detail, I scrutinized. I searched for answers, for comprehension. Undeniably, I spiritually matured.
So, have you gotten to a point in life where you have consciously decided to truly become serious about growing in your faith? Have you decided that if you have to live your faith all by yourself, you are all in? Are you all in?
People do not always say it, but this faith walk is a continuous path. There are so many things that could be shared, but are not. Who knew a part of my journey would include discovering my bottom line? It makes sense and was necessary, but who knew? It was there that I prayed by faith for God’s blessings and protection of my life. It was there where I began to have a deeper appreciation for the seriousness of ministry—of sharing my time, talents, and money. How interesting? It was there, where upon reflection, that I am able to see something that continues to amaze me. Such awareness continues to press me. In the midst of the delicate balance, between the breaths, the laughs, the tears, the ups, the downs…right there…in those moments…I still gave time, talent, and money. Admittedly, in hindsight I can understand it better. I can treasure and respect its symbolism. Its lessons continue to empower me. In my poverty, by faith, I gave. Like the poor widow, in so many ways I put in all I had to live on. I have an idea of what that feels like, and of what it means. Do you?
Once you know your bottom line, you understand what can be built upon it.