“While he (Jesus) was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Mark 14:3-9 NIV)
The idea of being wasted has always haunted me. I have a fear that, like Eowyn in The Lord of the Rings, I will be commanded to stay behind and miss the “real” action. The world only adds to this pull as its definition of waste clashes with God’s.
God’s definition of waste includes things like: Be still and know that I am God and seek first the Kingdom of heaven. He asks me to sit in His presence and get to know Him. First.
The world’s standard of waste screams at me. Do something. Be productive. It pushes me towards constant activity—go, go, go. I’m driven to make something of myself, to achieve no matter the cost.
And there is a cost.
Often, it’s our relationships. How many marriages, children, and decisions for eternity have been sacrificed on the altar of achievement? God tells us if we hold tightly to this life, we will lose it. If we release our grip for His sake, we will find it.
When the woman broke the bottle of perfume and “wasted” it on Jesus, she was intentional. She planned to be there. She risked her reputation and gave her most valued possession. Holding nothing back, she gave the greatest gift of all–herself.
But she was immediately condemned—by the disciples no less.
However, Jesus wasted no time in coming to her defense. In His eyes, her sacrifice was sacred. Precious. Priceless. Enough so to be recorded not once, not twice, but three times in the gospels.
Do we hear God’s still small voice asking us to waste ourselves on Him?
And to trust Him for the rest: the deadlines, the errands, and the laundry?
Will we schedule in the sacred?
She did what she could.
What do you do when common sense collides with Jesus?
Why is faith so scary sometimes?
As you have gotten to know God better, is it easier to trust Him? Share an example.
How do you change your thinking to line up with Scripture instead of culture?
What can you “waste” this week to draw closer to God? To your spouse or kids?