Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and used to buy the preacher’s bible so I can prepare many a good sermon?”
Not the Gospel of John 12:3-8
In the story the complaint was that the money could be spent on the poor. This is surely a noble thought. But yet Jesus chastises Judas.
How often do we think that money is being wasted when it could be put to good use elsewhere?
I have the gift of generosity (I can imagine you all messaging me now…) and love giving money away to those in need. But my dear wife pointed out that whilst I was doing that I was neglecting my family whose clothes were too small or had holes in.
1 Tim 5:8 says that anyone that does not provide for his family has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
My desire to bless people is good, but providing for my family’s needs is better.
I should do the latter first without neglecting the former.
In Luke 10, Mary and Martha is another example of this principle. Martha was right; there were preparations to be made to provide everyone with food. But Mary did the best by giving her full attention to Jesus.
Preparations are good, but devotion is better.
Mary should have done the latter first without neglecting the former.
In Revelation 2, the message to the church in Ephesus commended their deeds, hard work, perseverance and sound doctrine but they had forgotten their first love.
Works are good, but love is best.
The Church in Ephesus should have done the latter first without neglecting the former.
Don’t let the good distract you from the best.
Take time now to ask God what the best is for you today.
Do that first before any of your own ideas of what is good.