YOUR TWO CENTS WORTH
By Anne Robertson
A:† Look out, Gladys!
G:† What's wrong, Abner?
A:† You almost knocked my offering on the floor.
G:† Sorry, Abner.† It looks like I did knock some of it down.† Whereís the rest? There are only two pennies here.
A:† That's all there is, Gladys.† That's what God wants.
G:† And why do you think God wants two pennies?
A:† It's in the Bible, Gladys.† Remember?† Jesus saw a bunch of people putting lots of money in the offering plate and then he saw an old lady put in two pennies and He said it was
††††††††††† better to put in the pennies.† I like that story.
G:† Wrong, Abner.
A:† Itís not wrong.† I read it very carefully.† Jesus liked the pennies better.
G:† He did like the pennies better, Abner.
A:† I told you so.
G:† But He didn't like them because He liked pennies.† He liked them because of what they stood ††††††††† for.
A:† Didn't they just stand for money?
G:† Not in this story, Abner.† What did the rich people do?
A:† They put in lots of money.
G:† That's right.† Do you think they still had enough for themselves back at home?
A:† Sure.† That's why they're rich.
G:† That's right, Abner.† They gave a lot, but since they were rich to begin with, it didn't really ††† matter to them.† They††† gave what extra money they had and probably never even missed it.
A:† What's wrong with that?
G:† Even though they gave a lot of money, they were still thinking of themselves first.† Suppose † you had a piece of chocolate cake and your nephew Marvin was really hungry. What ††††††† would you do?
A:† I'd hide my cake and send him home for supper.
G:† Suppose you had six more chocolate cakes in your room.
A:† Well, I might give him a small piece then.
G:† Why would you give him some cake then?
A:† Because there would still be plenty for me and it would make him stop whining.
G:† Suppose Marvin were dying and his last request was a piece of chocolate cake.
A:† How much cake have I got?
G:† One piece.
A:† Is it a big piece?
G:† One small piece.† Just enough for one.† What would you do?
A:† Pray for more cake.
A:† I guess I'd give my piece to Marvin.
A:† Well, nobody ought to die without a last piece of cake.
G:† OK, Abner.† You would give Marvin the last piece of cake because you cared about him more †††††† than about yourself.
A:† So what does that have to do with pennies?
G:† The rich people who gave lots of money were like you with a lot of cake in your room.† You †††††††††† would give a piece away, not†††††††† because you cared about anybody, but because you had ††††††††† extra.
A:† Well, the old lady gave even less.
G:† She gave less money, but the two pennies she gave were all she had.† She didn't have any ††† extra back at her house.
A:† How would she get food the next day?
G:† She didn't worry about that, Abner.† All she cared about was giving to God.† When she gave †††††††††† that money, she was showing that she trusted God with her whole life.††††††††††
A:† Is that why Jesus liked her two pennies better?
G:† That's right, Abner.
A:† So God doesn't like my two pennies.
G:† That depends, Abner.† Are those two pennies really an offering or are they just extra?† What †††††††††† else would you have done with them?
A:† I wasn't going to do anything with them.
G:† So they were just extra.
A:† But Margaret was.
G:† What was Margaret going to do with your pennies?
A:† Well, they weren't exactly my pennies.
G:† Abner!† You stole Margaret's pennies!
A:† Well, it was for a good cause.
G:† Forget that, Abner.† You made money of your own this week. How much did you earn †††††† picking up sticks in the yard?
A:† A dollar.
G:† You have a whole dollar and you had to steal from Margaret to give an offering in church?
A:† No.† I have ten dollars.† I did some other things this week.
G:† Do you really think that God wants the two pennies you stole from someone else?
A:† Um.† Probably not.
G:† That's right.† God wants us to give because we love Him.† He wants us to love Him so much ††††††††††† that we give without thinking about ourselves.
A:† But there are things I want to buy.
G: That makes your offering more special.† That says to God that God is more important to you ††††††††††† than other things you want.† Jesus liked the offering of two pennies because it showed that †††† the old woman put God even before the food she ate.† God came first, and thatís what ††† made Jesus happy.
A:† I guess I'd better put Margaret's pennies back.
G:† I think you'd better put them back and add two of your own to make up for it.† And then you ††††††††† can think about how much to give to God.
A:† Of my money?
G:† Of your money, Abner.† God doesn't reward people for how much they give.† He rewards † them for putting Him first--in everything.
A:† Including money?
G:† Including money.
A:† And do those rewards ever involve chocolate cake?
G:† You never know, Abner.
A:† Well, I'd better get going then.† Can't take any chances, you know.
G: †Goodbye, Abner.