Is Devotion to Jesus “a Waste”? - The Warrior's Journey®

Is Devotion to Jesus “a Waste”?

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, ‘Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.’ And they rebuked her harshly.” (Mark 14:4-5) 

This is the second time Mary has been criticized for “wasting” things on Jesus – and the second time Jesus went to her defense. Earlier, Mary’s sister Martha had criticized her for wasting time learning at the feet of Jesus. In Martha’s mind there was more important work to be done in the kitchen (Luke 10:38-42).   

Here, again, in Mark 14, we find Mary under attack. The disciples believed Mary had wasted some very expensive perfume on Jesus. To them devoting this perfume to Jesus served no practical purpose. It didn’t feed the hungry, help the poor, or clothe the naked.  Now, all of those things are important acts of Christian charity. But is it un-Christian to devote one’s time and resources exclusively to Christ? Of course not. Actually, worship is the highest and purest form of Christian service for this very reason. It focuses exclusively on God.  

What do you think angels are doing in heaven? Many of them serve no other purpose but to offer praise to God (Isaiah 6:2-4; Revelation 4:6-11). God Himself is the exclusive focus of their mission. Serving and adoring God is an end in itself. For in heaven there is the constant and captivating unveiling of the infinite God.    

Can you imagine having a “front row seat” to an atomic or hydrogen bomb detonation? Or can you envision having an up-close view of a neutron star, pulsar, or magnetar? Such visions would be overpowering to the max. Before such sights you wouldn’t discuss politics or sports. Such topics would be meaningless, even contemptible in the face of these spectacular sights. Yet the uninhibited sight of the Almighty exceeds all those visions by a million-fold. What other useful purpose could any being have except to behold, adore, and worship this God? 

If such “impractical” devotion to Christ is fitting in heaven, then why not on earth? Besides, isn’t such devotion required in all loving relationships? Isn’t it necessary for husbands and wives to give their undivided attention to each other? Isn’t that what “quality time” is about?  It’s time devoted exclusively to each other. It won’t earn money or pay the bills.  But it will nurture and strengthen loving relationships   


  • Are you married? Do you have children? Isn’t it necessary to give them focused time and affection? Doesn’t love require it? 
  • Doesn’t Jesus deserve the same devotion from you?   
  • It’s no waste to pour out our lives in the service of Christ. There can be no higher purpose or purer service than exclusive devotion to Jesus. 

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