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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood

 

Quick to Criticize

Nov. 10, 2013

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, NIV)

Here is a key problem in the Christian community. We are often quick to criticize.

The disciples were upset. Rather than going to Jesus directly to complain about the extravagant gift He had just been given by the woman who poured expensive perfume on Him, they grumble among themselves. They don’t know the woman’s motivation or even what Jesus thought of her act, but they jump to conclusions without knowing the facts. They ask, “Why this waste?”

Their indignation is a great lesson for us to not jump to conclusions without knowing what’s really going on. Peace and fellowship among believers have often been disturbed or destroyed by those who have made conclusions not based on reality. Instead of following the principle laid down by Jesus in Matthew 18, that we are to go directly to the person against whom we have “aught,” the indirect route is chosen instead.

Gossip is simply called “sharing information.” I see it all the time. Individuals who don’t know the inside story jump at the first sign that someone, in their opinion, has done something wrong or associated with someone of whom they disapprove. Rather than deal directly with the person involved, they use social media or private gossip to discredit and express their indignation. Had they been in the home of Simon the Leper, they would have been part of the clique criticizing the woman.

The question is whether we would have been part of that group. Or, would we have waited to get more information before rushing to judgment?

The friends of Jesus in the house are upset and angry. They did not know the woman’s heart or what Jesus thought about what she had done. Had they just gone to Jesus, they wouldn’t have been bent out of shape. That’s a good lesson for us also. We need to come first to Jesus in prayer and let our spirit become quiet so we can hear His voice, His perspective on how best we can deal with the matter that causes us concern.

They asked, “Why this waste?” Nothing done for Jesus is ever wasted! We are to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength!

Jesus’ friends did not reckon on the fact He had received no financial benefit from His words and works in His three years of ministry. He had given freely, lavishly of himself. How much more ought we to respond similarly in our love for Him!

Are we willing to give all for Jesus? I have friends who, at this very moment, are laying down everything in their lives for Jesus. How could you and I do less? This woman who poured a lavish gift on Jesus is an example for us. Rather than thinking, How little can I give? — our question should always be, “How much can I give — of my time, talent and treasure?”

I’m simply amazed the friends of Jesus spoke harshly to this woman. After all, they were closest to Him. Had they not learned to be gentle and kind from watching Him and how He dealt with sincere people? Let’s not make the same mistake. Jesus would rather we practice extravagant love than indignant criticism.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, may I never be quick to judge. Only You know the heart of another. Only You know my own heart.



DR. GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

Previous Years


2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark


Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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