July 14, 2012

The No-name Woman

Luke 21:1-4

A poor widow put in two very small copper coins.
—Luke 21:2


Often, financially blessed people will give money to build wonderful buildings for worthy causes. Often, those buildings display the names of the contributors, letting everyone know who gave the generous gift. I call it “philanthropic graffiti.”

Jesus noticed something going on at the temple treasury. He saw the true spirit of giving in the eyes of the Lord—and its opposite. Some people who brought their offerings to the temple were using it show off their wealth. They wanted everyone to think their spirituality was tied to their wealth. They gave to bring honor to themselves, not to the God who made their wealth possible in the first place. They knew the words of Moses but failed to let them take root in their lives. Moses had said, “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the [blessings] he has given you… Otherwise … your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 8:10-14).

Jesus pointed out the quiet giving of a woman who offered all that she had to live on. Though we don’t know her name, we know that she gave because she was devoted to God.

It’s not about the amount of money we give for the Lord to use in his kingdom; it’s about our total dependence on God and recognizing that it’s all his. He knows our hearts and our names.

Dear Lord, I can’t fool you about anything, especially my resources. May I give with a heart that depends on you alone. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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