Have you ever wanted to lavish a costly gift on someone—whether financial, emotional, or an investment of time and effort—but felt a little unsure about it?
I’m not referring to using your resources in an irresponsible way, one that would leave you unable to pay your bills or meet your current obligations. No, I mean questions you may have about whether it’s right to splurge on someone you love when millions around the world are so needy, when there are so many worthy causes that could benefit from your investment.
Consider this example from the life of Jesus. Matthew tells us in his gospel (ch. 26:6-13) about one—identified as Mary in the John 12:1-8 account—who lavished her love on the Savior just days before his crucifixion.
During a banquet given in Jesus’s honor, Mary came to Jesus and anointed him with a jar of very expensive perfume. She drew immediate criticism, however, from the disciples for what they called a waste. They pointed out that the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor.
Jesus saw it differently, though. He said, “She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.” (Matthew 26:10b-11)
He went on to tell them that she would be remembered for this act of love wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world. Jesus approved of her lavish gift of love.
Today the same is true. Worthy causes and desperate need will always be present, but we won’t always have our loved ones with us.
I’m not saying we should forget the poor or hurting. Of course, we should give to help those in need. But I think we can also feel free to lavish a costly gift on a loved one occasionally. After all, it’s a beautiful thing to show someone the depth of our love. Just ask Jesus. I think he would approve.
“. . . love one another deeply, from the heart.” 1 Peter 1:22b
*What lavish gift of love have you received?
*Flickr photo by Aih.