Of all the Biblical teachings on generosity, one of the most powerful would be the story of the poor widow who gave two small copper coins. The story is recorded in Mark 12:41-44 where it tells of Jesus encountering a woman who gave all the money she had in the offering box and commended her for her faith.
The interesting thing about this story is that the woman was giving at the same time other people had come to give their offering. I can only imagine what I would have done if I were in that poor widow's position. Chances are most would probably wait for all the rich people who were putting in what money they had to give to all leave before putting in two small copper coins.
But this woman was not ashamed of her offering and willingly gave without thinking about the other people who were giving at the same time she was nor what people who were watching would say. What are some things we can learn from this story about giving?
1. God counts generosity very differently
Jesus said to His disciples in Mark 12:43 after seeing the widow's offering, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others." How often does the world measure an offering, an idea or a person according to the face value? But God counts differently and His value system is far different from this world. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.
2. Jesus watches as we give
An interesting thing we can note from this passage is that Jesus was paying close attention to people who were dropping their offering. One can only imagine how many people were probably throwing in large sums of money with their coins clinking into the steel box, and then suddenly two small clinks catches Jesus attention. What many Christians forget is that God has His eye on you as you give, and He's not looking at how much you put in but rather the contents of your heart as you gave.
3. Giving comes from the grace of God
What was it that drove a poor widow who had no source of income and no security to give all that she had to God? The only possible reason would be the grace of God. This woman understood how God was in charge always and that she could trust in her Provider to care for her even if she would lose all she had.