Summer Allen: Eyespots

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Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling His disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44

“One study asked participants to play a series of games in a computer lab where they were separated from other participants. For some of the games, participants had a stylized drawing of eyes (called “eyespots”) displayed on the computer monitor where they played the game. The eyespots substantially increased generosity: Almost twice as many people chose to give money to their partners after being confronted with the eyespots than gave money when they were not shown the eyespots.”

Summer Allen in “The Science of Generosity” White Paper produced by the Greater Good Science Center.

Today’s Scripture reminds us that Jesus sees our giving. He watched the giving with the disciples and made this profound comment that the widow “put more” into the treasury.

And the research reveals that “eyespots” increase generosity. Rather than read this as giving to be seen, let’s think of this realizing that Jesus and people around us are always watching us.

What message do we want our giving to send to Jesus? What do we want the children or peers around us to see who may be watching us? Let’s make sure the eyespots looking at us see sacrificial, loving generosity.

When I took the new header photo to start my day yesterday, on the sunrise walk with my dog, I prayed the Surrender Novena, entrusting my life to God and trusting Him to sort everything in my path.

What’s the connection to today’s post? Let’s live our lives for God who is always watching and seeing everything. Let’s also realize other people see and set a good and faithful example.