Is YOUR Gift Acceptable?
Steps Toward the Attaining of the Consciousness
Which was in Christ Jesus
By PARAMHANSA YOGANANDA
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. And there came a certain poor widow and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 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: 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. -Mark 12:41-44.
Jesus was not only watching the people, and the size of their offerings but, with the verity of his perception, he was also analyzing the spirit which prompted them. He called the disciples to witness the action of the widow because her generous spirit made her tiny gift shine before God, and the incident was a beautiful illustration of a divine principle. He explained to them that although this poor widow put only a farthing in the temple treasury, she actually gave more-because of her devotion than all the rich and indifferent people who cast more money into the receptacle, but without any devotion in their hearts. For all these others, who were giving impressive offerings to the temple of God, were disbursing only a little part of their abundant riches at no inconvenience to themselves. But the widow, in spite of her wants, gave unto God's cause all she had, although it was her very livelihood.
The Hidden Motive
All people can profit by heeding the lesson Jesus' disciples learned that day: to give unto God's cause with devotion, in a spirit of sacrifice and not in pride. If a rich man is motivated by pride in his wealth when he gives money to a temple, his gift may benefit it, but such an act will not be considered a great virtue by the Cosmic Law of God. That is, it will not attract the consciousness of God, nor attract the Cosmic Law to yield spiritual results, because devotion is lacking, However, when a poor person gives a few coins to God's cause with devotion, then that money may be of small use but his spirit of charity will enrich the gift.
So it is evident that giving more does not signify more devotion, nor giving less signify less devotion. On the other hand, it is also true that when anybody gives a great deal of his material riches with naturalness and great devotion, the gift is accepted by God; and when a poor person gives a little and prides himself that he's doing well considering his means, or gives that little without devotion, then his act, too, is valueless as far as spiritual progress is concerned. in other words, a temple or church accepts all gifts, but God accepts those gifts which are given to His cause with the spirit of sacrifice, love and devotion.
In Oriental Temples
In the Oriental temples, flowers, fruits and money are given as offerings to God. All these offerings help God's devotees to maintain the temple. But God Himself accepts only the devotion and love of human hearts, displayed in offering those gifts. God does not eat the fruit offerings, but He receives the devotee's devotion which rises from those offerings. He does not recognize the quantity of the gifts given to His cause but the quality of devotion attached to those gifts.
All true devotees must periodically search their consciences, and be sure that they are giving unto God's cause with a loving spirit and according to their best ability, not according to what they can easily give without any difficulty or sacrifice. Remember the poor' widow gave all her possessions,' when she gave the one farthing and, in addition to that, saturated it with her priceless devotion, so that God received it with greater joy than those rich gifts which came from proud, unsacrificing hearts.
Return to Contents