“They criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me . . . She has done what she could.’ – Mark 14:5-8 NKJV
Jesus was visiting the home of Simon the leper when a woman broke a flask of oil and poured it on His head. Some observers immediately criticized her actions, accusing her of waste. They thought she should have sold the oil and given the proceeds to the poor. They could not imagine any way to justify her actions.
Interestingly, John’s Gospel tells us that this woman was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, and that her primary critic was Judas Iscariot (John 12:1-8).
Throughout His ministry, Jesus consistently had emphasized the importance of taking care of the poor. But the act of this woman was different. He knew that she had done something special, while the motives of her critics were questionable. In fact, He gave her this profound endorsement. She had used the resources she had been given to do “a good work” for Him. In simple terms, “she has done what she could.”
In our lives, we all face criticism. Others may question our choices and conclude that we have made mistakes. But the only evaluation that really matters is the one we get from Jesus, when He looks at our hearts and motives. Will He say that we have done what we could?
In your life, remember that God looks at the resources He has given you. He looks at your heart and evaluates your priorities. Have you been faithful? Have you been a good steward of the resources you’ve been given?
Don’t allow criticism to make you discouraged. Renew your commitment to serve God, and seek to please Him. Then, make sure that you are doing what you can for His Kingdom. That you are doing “a good work” for Him.
Today’s Inspiration Prayer
Father, I commit my time, talent, and treasure to You. Help me not to be distracted by criticism but to stay focused on pleasing You. I will do what I can for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.