My favorite glib motivation talk from someone in leadership is the "give it all you've got" speech. Somewhere in the discussion, we hear the words "give it 110%." There was a management guru named W. Edwards Deming who developed a system for management based on 14 points, and one of those points was to avoid the use of vague or meaningless phrases when leading people. I always viewed the "110%" rule as vague and meaningless because it's poor math and it is based on an assumption that those around you aren't giving a high enough percentage. At its worst, it even sounds presumptuous, as though the person giving the speech IS giving more than their share of the effort.
Mark 12 speaks of effort. The leaders of the day, the spiritual leaders, were lauded over. Probably well-respected in the community, but Christ said this, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the market places, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widow's houses and for a show make lengthy prayers." (12:38 - 39)
He then focuses his attention on a widow making an offering. He watches the crowd putting in money at the temple treasury. "Many rich people threw in large amounts, but a poor widow came and put in two very small coppery coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling together his disciples, Jesus said, 'I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all of the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of poverty, put in everything - all she had to live on.'" (v 41 - 43)
Which side of the equation do we find ourselves in today? Who "counts" in our gatherings? Do we make judgements on who is in and out in our churches and in society based on what our perceptions of his or her sacrificial giving?
Pray that we, like the widow, give all we have, which comes from God anyway. Pray that we don't rank people in our minds or our hearts of being more worthy than others, and give thanks to those who give what they have in Christ.
Hope Men's Ministry