Recorded in the Book of Mark and Luke there is a true story of a poor widow who gave two mites to the church treasury. The mite was the least valuable coin in circulation in Judea, and amounted to about 12 minutes of an average daily wage. Jesus was sitting near the treasury and took notice of this poor widow’s gift to the church. Although, the story reveals that these two coins was all she had, and she gave more than the rich who gave moderately or even liberally that day; the story of the widow and the two mites is not preserved in Scripture to encourage us to give away all or nearly all of our resources. And more importantly we must never think that doing little or much by itself will win the approval of God.
This story does teaches that whatever we offer to God, wether it be to the church treasury or to the poor, it should be calculated not by it’s monetary value but only by the feeling of the heart. And that in God’s appraisal the small gifts we offer to God or for the poor, if done out of the sincerity of our heart is more worthy of God’s approval than if we offer a thousand-times more for some other reason than deep-seated sincerity.
This widow must have been a person of uncommon faith, who rather than come with nothing in her hand into the presence of God chose to give all she had, in which she could have felt justified not giving anything. But forgetting her own needs, in which we take notice that we usually considered our wants, she not only chose to do it but confirmed by doing it that all she had belonged to God. And because of her sincerity, bolstered by her trust in God, she was singled out by Jesus and commended before the disciples and now commended in full view of the whole world. And likewise for us we see the chief requirement for all the people of faith in every age that we offer God some measure of self-denial.