As soon as I typed the words Great Value, I’m almost embarrassed to say that my first thought was Walmart. For those in countries where Walmart exists, you’ll know that Great Value is their house brand. But I don’t want to talk about Walmart today. I want to talk about great value. Something valuable.
VAL’UABLE, adjective. Having value or worth; having some good qualities which are useful and esteemed; precious.
While Walmart’s house brand might be useful, I’d hardly go so far as to call it precious.
Jesus points to a gift of great value in Mark’s Gospel.
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poo as she is, has given everything she has to live on.”
Mark 12:43-44 (NLT)
I know what that widow felt like. I’ve dug through my wallet and dropped literally every last penny (well, nickel, since we in Canada no longer have pennies) into the offering bucket.
From a monetary perspective, the widow gave the least, but from a perspective of need that widow gave the most.
Too often, we withhold a gift because we don’t believe it is valuable enough. We’re ashamed at how little we have to offer. But the true value isn’t in the price of the gift, it’s in what it costs us to give it.
In Mark, those who gave much could have given much more. They didn’t need what they put in the offering. The widow, on the other hand, could have used those last two pennies to buy her next meal. Instead, she gave all she had on faith.
God isn’t looking for us to wait to give until the monetary value is what we think it should be. He just wants us to give. Period. I know of people on welfare who keep a pocket full of gift cards just in case they come across someone who may be in greater need than they.
To God, great value isn’t in the price tag, it’s in the attitude of the heart.
Daily Bible reading: Deuteronomy 8-10, Mark 12:28-44