I recently watched a 60 Minutes report on a group of billionaires, led by Warren Buffet, who have pledged to give at least half of their fortunes away during their lifetime or in their will when they pass on. You have to be impressed with their commitment and the sheer amounts of money they can give. Billions and billions of dollars to help others. You also have to be impressed with the good things that can be done with this amount of money. Things like eradicating smallpox or polio in the world, educating masses of children and helping raise millions out of abject poverty.
However, as I watched the report, I couldn’t help but think about another person who gave away all of her fortune many years ago. While Jesus and his disciples are visiting the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus watched the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He then observed a poor widow put two small copper coins. Jesus makes this comment, “I tell you the truth, 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.”
The billionaires on TV gave from their abundance, copious amounts of funds, and should be commended. They rightfully received accolades and publicity by giving in such ways. I, however, will never be in the position to give such sums of money. Which is really not the issue and not the challenge to me. It’s so huge I can’t comprehend it.
The widow’s gift is much more challenging. I also give from my wealth, not from my poverty. Yet who does Jesus point out for praise?