As a young boy I broke lots of things around the house; my mother can attest to this. Most of the time it was an accident. Well, as far as I can remember most of the time it was an accident. In any case, I broke things. I can’t remember breaking anything of value intentionally though. I’ve broken glasses, car windows, headlights, phones, pencils (pencil fighting used to be cool-remember that?), computers…all kinds of things. Most things that I have been responsible for have ended-up broken at some point in their short life. But I didn’t break them on purpose. One thing I noticed is that the more expensive the item is, the more it hurts when it gets broken. For example, if you accidentally broke your remote control, you wouldn’t lose as much sleep as if you had broken your $1,900 laptop computer. Or you wouldn’t lose as much sleep over accidentally breaking your cell phone as you would breaking the new 2010 Honda Accord.
Now I want you to take just a moment and imagine the most expensive thing you own……got it? Now I want you to imagine consciously and intently and purposefully breaking it. By breaking it, I don’t mean literally “breaking” it, but giving it away. Imagine giving it away and the pain you would have as you watch it leaving your hands and into the hands of another.
In Matthew 26:6-13, we see the story of a woman who possessed a jar of expensive perfume. This perfume was so expensive that it was valued to the equivalent of one year’s wages. So take whatever you make on a yearly basis and put it into a jar; imagine it that way. Jesus has just told the disciples (and she was there) that He was going to be arrested and crucified soon. In response to this, the woman took the jar of perfume worth one year’s wages, broke the jar, and poured it on Jesus. She intentionally broke the jar and the perfume covered Jesus. She gave the perfume away intentionally for the cause of Jesus.
The woman, Mary (the sister of Lazarus), had seen Jesus resurrect her brother Lazarus from the dead and believed Jesus’ prediction of the cross and resurrection after 3-days. In response to her belief, she gave the very best she had.
So why did she break the jar? Couldn’t she have just poured the perfume out of it without breaking it? The answer is yes, she could have, but she didn’t. In breaking the jar, Mary was communicating that she was giving all of it to Him; holding nothing back as you could if you didn’t break the jar (pouring a little or most of the perfume and leave the rest in the container). Mary made sure she kept none for herself and made a full sacrifice. Her sacrifice was a reflection of her faith.
When you think of your giving and sacrifice, do you give your very best and all that you have to the church, to those in need, and to your enemies? As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me (Matt. 25:40 NLT). In your tithes and offerings, do you break the jar or do you hold back? Today I encourage you to fully trust in the Lord as your level of sacrifice and offerings are an accurate reflection of your trust and faith in God.