The Heart of the Matter

This Sunday our elder who oversees finances said he needed to ask me a question about how to handle a gift in the offering, which was odd. (I am normally not involved in the offering at all)  I asked him what was up, and he gave me these:

CEC tokens
First, we all had a good laugh.  Hey, skee ball for the pastoral staff! 🙂 (okay, if you look close it’s actually 2 Chuck E. Cheese tokens and 1 Cabela’s token…so skee ball and animatronic shooting gallery!) Then I thought about it some more, and thought about how Jesus handled the same issue.

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”” (Luke 21:1–4, ESV)

I can just imagine the disciples around Jesus looking at those coins (they were worth about a half penny each) and having a good chuckle. “Awww…isn’t that sweet?” Jesus, though, thought the world of that gift.  He saw the heart behind the gift and honored it.  He knew that the amount was not the key, but the sacrificial heart that prompted it that was important.

Some little one in our congregation wanted to honor God by giving of their finances this past Sunday, and they had some tokens to give.  What is not much to most of us, to them was probably all that they had.  And I think that honors God a great deal.

If we look at the larger principle, how often do we not serve God, honor Him, obey Him, and worship Him because we think our offering is too small? How often do we look at the outside rather than the inside, the effect rather than the heart? And are we willing to look past the appearance to see how God sees?

How about you? Do you look for the heart? Are you giving God your all, no matter how small? Are you focused on the activity or on the heart behind it?

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