Just days away from his crucifixion, Jesus was sharing a meal with some friends in a little village outside of Jerusalem.
While he was eating, a woman came in, broke open a very expensive jar of perfume and poured it on Jesus’ head. Immediately, those gathered began complaining about this woman’s actions, and how this perfume could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money could have been given to the poor (Mark 14:5).
As they continued to grumble, Jesus turned to them and said, “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me…. She did what she could!” (verses 6-8).
I love the line, “She did what she could.”
This woman did not fix every problem. She did not stop the hate that the religious leaders felt toward Jesus. She did not take away the pain that Mary had to endure as she watched her son being crucified. She did not take away the disciple’s fear. She did not convert the entire village to believe in Christ. She did, however, do something kind, and Jesus praised her for it. She did what she could.
I wonder what would happen if I approached the new year with that same attitude. Instead of looking for excuses and reasons to remain uninvolved in what is happening around me, what if I did what I could to support and encourage others? What if I forgot about me and put you first? What if I took some action, however big or small it may be, and trusted that God could use it?
I do not know exactly what would happen, but I do know this: 2019 would be a good year, because I would be invested in making things better.
Unlike other New Year’s resolutions, this one is not about being better, working harder or doing more. It is simply about changing our attitudes and seeing what we can give rather than what we can get.
Forget about doing something big and splashy. Forget about whether you will be noticed or not. Forget about the cost. Just do the good that you can do. Something good will come of it and God will be praised.