Evaluate Your Giving Level

Lou Lotz

READ : Mark 12:41-44

What kind of giver are you? A lot of us think of ourselves as generous givers. But do we ever stop to consider how much we don’t give? According to Jesus, the acid test of giving is just that. What counts is not how much you give, but how much you don’t give, how much you hold for yourself.

Jesus was in the temple, watching people give their gifts. There were some big givers in the temple that day, some heavy hitters. “Many rich people put in large sums.” Jesus did not denounce the big givers. But when a poor widow pitched a penny in the plate, Jesus got excited: “This poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury!” The world might scoff at a one-penny offering, but to Jesus this was charity at its best.

The giving that pleases God has less to do with the size of the gift than with the proportion of wealth that remains in the hands of the giver. The gifts of the rich men represented surplus. The widow’s gift represented sacrifice. That penny was “. . . everything she had, her whole living.” Hers was the gift that counted, because hers was the gift that cost a lot.

What kind of giver are you?


Heavenly Father, let my treasure be where my heart is, and let my heart be with you, now and evermore. Amen.