“When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. ‘Why this waste?’ they asked. ‘This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.’ Aware of this, Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.’”
– Matthew 26:8-11
When I had just gotten out of college, I began leading a group at the Crystal Cathedral. As a novice pastor, I was openly critical of the extravagance of the place, and I remember actually putting it down in front of people at the church. One day, however, a very smart young man confronted me and got me thinking. I looked at him and I said, “This Crystal Cathedral…look at all of this stuff. This could have been used to help the poor.” And he said, “Help the poor?” I said, “Yes,” and he said, “We do help the poor.” I was like, “No, I mean, this could have been a homeless shelter.” And he said, “When was the last time you helped the poor?” I said, “It hasn’t been that long. I don’t know.” But the truth is that it had been years. He then proceeded to tell me that he and a group of other congregants fed the homeless at a shelter just a few days prior, and he reminded me that on Thursday, they were going to deliver groceries to those in need. As I shrunk back in humiliation, I was forced to admit that the ministry I was critical of was actually a gift to the poor. I realized that just because something is beautiful or seemingly extravagant, that doesn’t make it selfish. Though the disciples were appalled when the woman poured her entire jar of precious perfume on Jesus, the truth is that her act of abandon foreshadowed all that He was about to pour out for her on the cross. He held nothing back when He gave His last breath, so we shouldn’t shrink back when it comes to offering our very best to Him.
My friend, Jesus went over the top in expressing His love for you, so don’t judge someone if they go over the top for Him. Though it’s easy to act pious and prescribe the most effective use of people’s money or possessions, it’s best to leave the leading up to God. Take care of your own household and let Him have the final say in the affairs of others. Live your life with open hands, an open heart, and a posture of grace, and your humility will honor Him and return greater blessings to you!
If you’re unable to attend your local church or need an extra dose of weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. PT on TBN or watch online at hourofpower.org/episode.
Humble my heart, Jesus, as I surrender my soapbox and tend to my own life first.
What are you quick to judge others for?