Doing Your Best

She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. – Mark 14:8 NKJV.

Have you ever done your best and been criticized? Have you ever done what you thought was the right thing and been criticized? Maybe you even went the extra mile and turned the other cheek but still there were some who thought it wasn’t good enough. You may have even thought to yourself at the time that it was not enough, but it was all you could do.

Not only have others criticized but you have criticized yourself as well. It is a common cause of burnout. Always feeling you could have done more, or better, or otherwise. Sometimes you wish you had not done anything because of all of the criticism.

Mary, the sister of Lazarus may have had some days like that. We do not know how Mary responded but we do know she received some criticism for her actions. Mary was criticized by her sister, Martha, when she listened to Jesus instead of helping prepare the meal. If that was not enough now Mary has anointed the feet of Jesus with very costly perfume. Judas complains this perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor.

It seems so obvious. You ought to help get the meal ready and you need to feed the poor. But to Martha, Jesus said: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:41-42).” In response to Judas Iscariot’s complaint about the perfume, Jesus said: “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always (John 12:7-8).”

It seems there are always some people who have an ax to grind who appear to be right but really are simply acting out of selfishness. Martha was more concerned about Mary not helping her than with Jesus. Judas was upset because, as it is pointed out in John 12:6, he was a thief and had missed out on getting his hands on more money.

Before you beat yourself up, ask Jesus what He thinks about it all. Before you beat someone else up with words of criticism examine your motives. Would the Lord come to your defense as He did for Mary? Or would He have some words of correction for you as He did for Martha?

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