“How Much Is Enough?”

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By Jacqueline F. Williams

Everyday we are faced with the cost of various items. Some are necessities; some are wants. Decisions are made throughout the day about “Should I?” or “Shouldn’t I?” Should I buy that Zi collection piece from my Paparazzi consultant? Should I buy a meal or go home for leftovers? The cost of living is steadily rising. Gas, prescriptions, education, food, lodging, clothing- decisions must be made. Do I continue buying these items? Whatever the item, we must determine its place and value in our lives. The “immoral” woman in Luke 7: 38 had 4 tangible items at her disposal: her tears, her kisses, her hair, and her perfume. All items, valuable to her, and she used them to convey her love and devotion to the Savior.

Let us consider these three points in determining our personal expressions of love and devotion:

It’s personal. First of all, our expression of love and devotion is personal. ONLY THE GIVER can choose the item. It will have a place of prominence and importance in his life. That person is the only one who will be able to determine what form the expression will take. Others may not understand its significance, but the giver and the recipient certainly will.

The item is subject to change. How many ways can you say “Thank you” or “I love you”? Elizabeth Barrett Browning asked the question in her famous sonnet, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Then she proceeded to do just that for the object of her affection. An expression of love or gratitude may take many forms. One is not obligated to express himself in only one way. The “sinful” woman used the 4 tangible items mentioned earlier (tears, kisses, hair, and perfume). In addition, there is singing, writing, praising, leading, preaching, dancing… Self expression is a beautiful thing!

The owner does the appraisal. Usually when the owner of an item wants to determine its value, he takes it to an appraiser who will determine its fair market value. In the case of expressing one’s love, however, the owner of the item determines its value. For who knows better than the owner what it’s worth personally? Sure, an appraiser could put a monetary amount as the value of the oil in the alabaster box. However, when considering what Jesus did, when considering that sin that nobody else even knows about, the gospel artist Ce Ce Winans expressed that sentiment with this line: “Oh, you don’t know the cost of the oil in MY alabaster box!” No, you don’t have the faintest idea! But Jesus is worth the cost!! How valuable is the sacrifice that Jesus made for the forgiveness of our sins? How much is enough? It is invaluable! We could never re-pay Him, so it’s a good thing His sacrifice was freely given.

We give Him what little we have or can give. He deserves that and more. Our love and devotion, our honor and praise… How much is enough? Can we give too much? I’m reminded of the song, “Oh-oh-oh, what He’s done for me. I never shall forget what He’s done for me!” So don’t tell me, “It doesn’t take all that!” Maybe it doesn’t for you. You don’t know the value of my praise, or how much it is worth to be able to express it freely. Speak for yourself! It just might take that and more for me. It’s personal; it takes various forms; and I know its value!

Let us pray. Oh, Father, El Elyon, we lift your name on high and give you honor and glory. Thank you for your presence in our lives. Thank you for your continuous love, grace, and mercy. May we continue to honor and glorify you expressing our devotion in various ways. We pray in Jesus’ name. AMEN

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