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Answers to Key Tithing Questions – The Widow’s Mite

The Widow's Mite by James TissotThe passage for today offers a stark contrast between the giving practices of the rich and a poor widow.  

In commenting about this passage, The Handbook of Bible Application says, “In the Lord’s eyes, this poor widow gave far more than all the others put together, though her gift was by far the smallest.  The value of a gift is not determined by its amount, but by the spirit in which it is given.  A gift given grudgingly or for recognition loses its value.  When you give, remember—no matter how small or large your income, your tithe is pleasing to God when given out of gratitude and a spirit of generosity.”

 Key Study Passage:  Mark 12: 41-44

The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury.  Many rich people threw in large amounts.  42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”


  1. What’s the biggest monetary gift you’ve ever given?  Why did you give this gift?  What kind of a strain did it put on your budget?


  1. Why are we often impressed by—or envious of—the biggest gift-givers of a major church building campaign or other major fund drives?  What “course correction” does today’s passage offer for this kind of thinking?


  1. List several attitudes that you think reflect the rich in this passage.  List several attitudes you think reflect the poor widow.  Compare the two lists.


  1. If you are fairly well off, what is one lesson you can take from this passage? I f you struggle to make ends meet, what is one lesson you can take from this passage?


Spend Time in Prayer: Thank God for taking care of your day-to-day financial needs; confess any sins related to your own attitude toward money and giving; ask God to help you develop the generous heart of the poor widow.


Prayer for the Week:  Heavenly Provider, speak to my heart about giving more generously and cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7-9); even during difficult financial times, may I learn from the example of the poor widow (Mark 12:41-44).



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