Is It Worth It?
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I’m frugal. I’m the bargain-shopper that my mother raised me to be. It’s not like I don’t like spending money. I just really like saving money.
Before any big purchase, I spend days (sometimes weeks!) comparing different brands and options to see if I can get a similar value for a lower cost. Before making the final purchase I always ask myself, “Is this worth it?”
While I am often very proud of my bargain shopping, one place where I don’t want to count costs or look for a better deal is in my walk with Christ. Walking with Christ often requires different kinds of sacrifice. Whether it be our finances, free time, personal plans, or social status, there are many things we may need to fully surrender to Christ. When I know I need to surrender something to the Lord, I might ask myself, is it worth it?
Mark 14:3-9 is the account of Jesus’ anointing at Bethany. An unnamed woman pours a flask of pure nard over Jesus’ head. In other words, this woman used an entire year’s worth of wages in very expensive oil to glorify Christ as her King and Savior. Some sitting around the table are furious about what they’ve just seen:
Some of those at the table were indignant. "Why waste such expensive perfume?" they asked. "It could have been sold for a year’s wages and the money given to the poor!" So they scolded her harshly (Mark 14:4-5 NLT).
But Jesus doesn’t scold her.
But Jesus replied, "Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me? … Wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed” (Mark 14:6,9).
This was a beautiful, sacrificial act of worship, exalting Jesus as the Messiah, that we still talk about today! But it came at a very high cost. She didn’t use just some of the oil. She didn’t try to do just enough to get by. She spared no expense when it came to Jesus.
Are we willing to do the same with our lives? Maybe we’re afraid to give our lives fully to Christ because we’re afraid of looking foolish. When we make sacrifices to honor Christ, others may not understand. Just like those at the table in Bethany, they might think of it as a waste of time, money, or energy. But Christ says:
“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23).
When we love God and live for Him, we get to spend eternity with Him. We can spend days, weeks, and even years trying to replace a relationship with Christ with the things of this world, but in this case, there is nothing of similar value for a lower cost. No better deal exists!
Father God, teach us to worship and honor You as You deserve without worrying about what it will cost us. Give us the wisdom and strength to lay down the things of this world at Your feet and to walk in right relationship with You, regardless of what the world may think of us for doing so.
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever” (Psalms 16:11).
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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