Giving: In The Trenches

By Ron Surgeon  /  

On Wednesday, May 13th, I was meeting with a disciple, whose name is Gannon. I want to share with you a goal we set in response to a study of the Widow’s mite in Mark 12. But before we begin I’d like to inform you of how our time together was facilitated. Usually we start by caring for each other’s soul: praying for each other and confessing sin. Afterward we read a psalm, which functions as the means by which we would ascribe worth to God (worth-ship/worship). Once we finished worshipping God we inspired each other of what God could do in and through our lives (we call this vision casting). In addition, we held each other accountable for following Jesus and leading others into a relationship of faith and obedience to Christ. Our time of studying the scriptures was highly participatory–more of a discovery model. We used a simple set of questions to extract truth from the text. Then we retold the story a few times in our own words in order to develop confidence and competence–our practice time. Lastly, we set goals related to following Jesus and fishing for people, obeying the lesson, and prayed for God to accomplish these goals, through us, as much as they agreed with him. The majority of our times together are facilitated in this way.

The study of the Widow’s giving in Mark 12:41-44 was a true eye-opener. Really, it was more like a kick in the pants for the both of us. Like the widow in the story, Jesus is watching how we give. He anticipates our sacrificial giving after the example of the widow but ultimately in his footsteps as the apex of sacrificial giving. Our goal, in response to the scripture, was to look for an opportunity to give, sacrificially, which both of us received the same day in different ways. Gannon was asked by two distraught people to be a mentor to them. Although his time is occupied with many important things, he considered this opportunity an answer to our prayers to live out our obedience goals to Mark 12.

That evening upon visiting a home where my friend, Zach, and I are leading discovery Bible studies we found out that Miss Darlene, our hostess who happens to be a widow, had been in the hospital with nausea, rheumatoid arthritis, lung problems, and other ailments. She recently spent 4 days in the hospital, was discharged from work because of sickness, and has fallen behind on bills. Full of compassion for Miss Darlene, we decided to cover one of her major expenses. We assured her that our gift was truly a gift, not a loan. We desired nothing in return. No recompense.  She could hardly believe it. Her eyes were filled with tears and her heart was filled with awareness that this act of giving was an encounter with God. Our hearts were filled with the conviction that all things belong to God. We are simply managers of his stuff. 

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. 
– Psalm 24:1

The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty.
– Haggai 2:8