In Mark 12:41-44, a widow gives all the money she has to the poor the widow gave to the money in the whole of the treasury such was her generosity.
This made me think about how much am I willing to sacrifice in contrast to maintaining my own wealth? I believe what Jesus was stating that to be truly generous the contribution must take you out of your comfort zone. Hence, I must ask myself the following questions.
Does it impact on my lifestyle and your relationship with others or just maintain the status quo? If it doesn’t require my significant input then I am not really being sincere in my giving.
Are my actions directly beneficial to others? If they are then positive outcomes can be achieved by everyone. Furthermore those people in turn can extend these outcomes to reach even more people if they desire.
Do I support others when they require assistance or just work towards meeting my own needs? I feel it is important to find a balance where your commitment to help others leads to fulfilling your own needs. There is nothing better than being recognised by others for your guidance, which assisted them in overcoming difficulties they might have experienced.
Is my motive for offering to contribute derived from personal satisfaction or seeking something in return? I believe if I want selfish gain then I am not really providing anything because my purpose is to reward myself. On the other hand if my intent is personal satisfaction I sincerely hope my efforts will assist others in some way.
I believe Jesus uses the example of the widow to emphasise that we give not be acknowledged or for an end result but through a yearning for others to enjoy the fruits of our labour.