January 08, 2022

When Less is More

Mark 12:41-44

“They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

—  Mark 12:44

Jesus was doing heart checks, not money checks, as he watched people bring their ­offerings to the temple. He knew who was being stingy and who was being generous. And he explained how the gift of the poor widow was a true act of worship.

It can be tempting for church councils and nonprofit boards to focus too much on pleasing major donors, whose money can yield power and influence. It’s often the wealthy who are sought out for leadership roles and coveted as friends. Even in the body of Christ, money talks. But Jesus is saying here, “Not so fast.”

We also should seek out peo­ple with limited financial resources and abundant generosity to be part of our friend circles, to mentor others, and to serve as leaders. Rather than looking past those who seem to be least among us, we need to ask Jesus for his eyes to see one another’s incredible value and to learn from each other. Wealth can be here today, gone tomorrow. Jesus is concerned with the motives of the heart.

Recently a single mom who cleans houses for a living gave the church a packet of envelopes that each contained cash she had set aside from her weekly earnings. The total amount was not very much compared with that of a wealthier donor, but in terms of her heart and sacrifice, it was extremely valuable. Sometimes less is more!

Lord, help me to see the motives and value of people as you do. And help me to find joy in sharing all that I have. Amen. (BMB)

About the author — Al Mulder and Bonny Mulder-Behnia

Al Mulder served as a church pastor in Kansas, Utah, and New Mexico and in ministry roles with denominational missions in North America. He is a member of Madison Square Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Al and Joanna Meyer, both widowed, married in 2020. Together they have eight children, 19 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren.

Bonny Mulder-Behnia began work in ministry after a career in journalism. While serving on staff at Madison Square Church, Grand Rapids, and later at Rosewood Church in Bellflower, Calif., she completed seminary training and is now a copastor at Rosewood Church. Bonny is married to Jahangir Behnia and has two children and one grandchild.

As father and daughter, Al and Bonny have a shared passion for multicultural ministry. Their initials (AM and BMB) indicate which meditations they have written for the month of January.

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