Read: Luke 21:1-4

How is it possible to add all the offerings of countless rich people and declare the total less than the two small copper coins of a poor widow? How can such a small amount be valued so much? Jesus said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had” (Luke 21:3-4). Jesus’ arithmetic is not hard to comprehend when you understand that the secret of giving is not in the amount that is given, but rather the attitude. Attitude, and not abundance is the key.

Bishop Ambrose explains the kind of giving that really matters. He said, “Liberality is determined not by the amount of our possessions but by the disposition of our giving. For by the voice of the Lord, a widow is preferred above all, of whom it was said: “This poor widow has put in more than all the others.” The Lord teaches that none should be held back from giving through shame of their own poverty, nor should the rich flatter themselves that they seem to give more than the poor. The piece of money out of a small stock is richer than treasures out of abundance, because it is not the amount that is given but the amount that remains which is considered. No one gives more than she who has nothing left for herself.”

Giving is not the function of just numbers, but the result of a warm heart. A small gift humbly given is of greater value than a vast sum given out of pride, compulsion, or even guilt. The amount of your gifts vary with your resources. But the attitude in giving should remain constant even if you are a poor widow. Peter Marshall said it rightly: “Help us to give according to our incomes, lest thou, O God, make our incomes according to our gifts.”

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