If you’re not giving up something

I think we can all agree on a few basic things. For example, that flooded basements and mosquitoes are annoying.

And I think we can also all agree that being a “giving person” is a good thing.

When we hear stories about helping others or self-sacrifice, something resonates. Physically or invisibly… we nod in agreement.

That said, I’m sure you probably think of yourself as a fairly giving person.

But are you?

I don’t mean to be heavy-handed here. But it’s an important question… at least if you claim to be a follower of Jesus.

Recently I was reading the story in the Bible about the widow’s offering. A poor widow gives a financial offering at the temple in Jerusalem of only a few coins. Then some rich people give a tonne. She seems to have given a little and they seem to have given a lot.

But that’s not how Jesus saw it.

Here’s what he said: “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43-44, NIV)

The reason I think her gift was so honoured was because she was truly giving up something. The rich people weren’t actually giving because it didn’t cost them anything.

I think we can apply this basic idea to our lives in general:

If you’re not giving up something, you’re not really giving.

Maybe it’s your time. Maybe it’s your energy. Maybe it’s your money. Maybe it’s your comfort zone!

You see, when you give up something, you stretch yourself. You have to rely on God more, and therefore, he grows your faith in the process.

Tomorrow we’re going to talk about what happens next. And the day after that we’ll talk about how this entire process impacts the trajectory of your life.

But today, as you think about the importance of helping and serving others, ponder the widow’s offering, and remember this:

If you’re not giving up something, you’re not really giving.

By Matthew Ruttan

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