There’s an interesting episode in the life and ministry of Jesus that’s recorded in Mark 14:3-9. While Jesus and His disciples were at the home of Simon the leper eating a meal, a woman took an extremely expensive vial of perfume, broke it, and poured it over Jesus’ head.
The response was immediate and strong: “But some were indignantly remarking to one another, ‘Why has this perfume been wasted?'”(v. 4). They thought the perfume could have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor. Verse 5 says, “they were scolding her.”
What this unnamed woman did was undoubtedly an act of worship. She loved Jesus and was responding to His grace and mercy. So was her act a waste? Is worship of God a waste?
The answer to that question is yes and no.
Let me explain. Worship IS a waste if it doesn’t come from the heart, if it involves simply “going through the motions” with no real thought given to what you’re doing. Even a beautiful act of devotion and worship is wasted if it isn’t done in faith. Conversely, worship is NEVER a waste if comes from the heart, and if there is real meaning and understanding at the core of it. Any act, no matter how large or small, is pleasing to God when it’s done in faith.
Therefore, no amount of money given to God and His work is ever wasted if it’s given from the heart. No tear is ever wasted in the true worship of God. No time is ever wasted if it’s given from the heart. No life is ever wasted if it’s given to the service of God and others as a honest gift to Him. No prayer offered to God in faith is ever wasted or of no value. No service or ministry to others is ever wasted if it’s done to please God. God is faithful and gracious to use and bless whatever we give Him or do for Him in faith.
The sacrificial gift of the woman was not a waste – it was worship, and true, genuine worship is never wasted!