What would you do with a year’s salary? Say someone just handed it to you in addition to your normal earnings? Would you put a down payment on a house…or a bigger house? Pay off your student loans…or put it away for the kids’ college fund? Splurge a little and then put the rest in savings?
Or how about a year’s worth of time? Say someone said you could do anything you wanted for one year? What would you do with your time?
Do you remember the story of Mary of Bethany? She had a pint of pure nard worth more than a year’s salary. It was the kind of thing you saved for an event like your daughter’s wedding or passed down to the next generation. Instead, she broke it open and poured it–all of it all at once–on Jesus’ feet. She squandered a valuable family asset on a one time act of worship. The “wastefulness” of her act was so apparent that some of the people present started complaining that she should have sold the ointment and given the money to the poor.
Try thinking for a few minutes about what you can “squander” for God–for the sheer love of God. Money? Time? A natural talent or a skill? Come up with something so outrageous that the people around you would be bound to start saying “What a waste!”
I like this exercise. It is fun to let my imagination run wild. And it gets me out of the “tithing” mindset and into the “all in” mindset. Go ahead. Try it. Come up with some incredible way to show your overwhelming love for God. Now pray for the opportunity to go ahead and do it.
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. John 12:3