A Poor Woman and a Rich Man

Play the role of financial counselor. Today you have two appointments, first with an elderly woman and then a middle-aged man.

The woman’s husband died six years ago. She says, “I’m down to my last two dollars. I have no more money. The cupboards are bare. These two dollars are all I have to live on, yet I feel as if God wants me to put them in the offering. What do you think?” What would you tell her? (Don’t read on until you think about it.)

Likely you’d say something like this: “That’s very generous of you, dear, but God gave you common sense. He knows your heart—that you want to give—but he wants you to take care of yourself. He knows you need to eat. I’m sure God would have you keep those two dollars and buy food for tomorrow. He wants your needs to be met. You can’t expect him just to send down food from heaven if you give up the little money he’s already provided, can you? God wants us to do the sensible thing.”

Your next appointment is with a successful, hardworking, middle-aged farmer whose crop production has been excellent. He tells you, “I’m planning to tear down my old barns to build bigger ones so I can store up more crops and goods and have plenty saved up for the future. Then I can
take it easy, retire early, and maybe do some traveling and golfing. What do you think?”

What’s your answer? Perhaps something like this: “Sounds good to me! You’ve worked hard and the Lord has blessed you with good crops. It’s your business, crops, and money. If you can save up enough to take care of yourself for the rest of your life, by all means go for it. Maybe one day I’ll be in a position to do the same!

Doesn’t our advice to this poor widow and this rich man seem reasonable? But what would God say? We needn’t speculate—Scripture tells us exactly what he says.

– From Randy Alcorn’s Money, Possessions, and Eternity (pg. 8)

See Mark 12 and Luke 12 for God’s response

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