Beyond Obedience: The Giving Heart of a True Disciple. (Part 2)
God cares about the sincerity and depth of our sacrifice more than the amount of our giving.
It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving. — Mother Theresa
Let’s consider another scripture from King Benjamin about the condition of our hearts. After rebuking those who withhold their substance (money, food, clothing) from those in need, King Benjamin makes a compelling doctrinal clarification:
“I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give. And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received.”
In other words even if we’re broke, and have nothing to give, if we do not feel the desire to give, then we are still “condemned.” If we say in our hearts that if we had, we would give, then our heart is right with God and we “remain guiltless.” This suggests that what really matters to God is not how much we give numerically, or even if we can give anything at all, but our willingness to sacrifice if we could. In other orders, he cares about the condition of our hearts.
“for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance [or behavior], but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Christ taught this in Mark 12:41. You know the story:
41 ¶ And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
In terms of spiritual wealth, this widow’s two mites (which to us would be a value ranging from 1/4 of penny up to .50cents depending on the source) was worth more than the handfuls of gold and silver that the wealthy gave out.
In other words, as a percentage of total monetary worth, the widow gave 100%. THAT is what consecration looks like. And that is what God wants from us. To willingly, unreservedly, without pomp or praise, give everything to Him and His kingdom. To choose Him over anything and everything else we might be drawn to love.
Here is a fascinating supportive point, from Marion G. Romney:
It would be a simple thing for the Lord to reveal to President Kimball where the deposits of oil and precious ores are. We could then hire someone to dig them out and we could float in wealth — and we would float in wealth right down to Hades. No, the Lord doesn’t really need us to take care of the poor, but we need this experience; for it is only through our learning how to take care of each other that we develop within us the Christlike love and disposition necessary to qualify us to return to his presence.
C.S. Lewis said this:
I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc, is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.
Our heart, our sacrifice, are what God desires. Not our money.