Significant Insignificance

Not many have significant or outstanding gifts and talents when measured according to the world’s standards. Not everyone possesses outstanding skills for which they are widely recognized. In fact, most of us would fall into the opposite category by being quite ordinary. Today’s society wants us to feel as if we should apologize for being insignificant or ordinary. There’s such pressure to make our place among society not only noticeable but covetable. But, is that what God wants from us? Will our offering of worship mean more to Him if we have outstanding skills and talents?

There was a woman who was quite ordinary and insignificant according to those who were in her presence. They saw her as a nobody and her offering as insignificant and a total waste of time and money. Yet, Jesus used her to teach us something. What God deems significant is often insignificant in man’s eyes. Truth.

And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” (Mk 14:3–9, emphasis added)

I love the way Jesus responded to those who tried to make her feel foolish. She has done what she could. In other words, she may not have the learning and education, she may not have titles or positions of authority, but she used what she could do to bless Him. No shame. Not intimidated. No hesitation. She simply did what she could do.

This woman wasn’t gifted or talented in any special way, yet her sincere gift of what she could offer Him was indeed significant to the Lord. Her occupation. Her limitations. Her lowly estate. Her past. Not even her reputation blemished the purity of the gift she gave Him. He only saw a heart willing to serve in whatever capacity she could to honor Him in the presence of others.

You may be someone who is gifted in a significant way and thank the Lord you are! Let’s be careful, however, not to look down on those who don’t possess such unique giftings or talents as insignificant in comparison.

Perhaps you are someone who sees themselves as insignificant and having not much to offer anyone. Your value to the Kingdom lies within your heart, not within your significance. It is the heart of man that God finds significant above talents, titles or degrees.

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

Offer what you have to God–your heart. Follow the example of the woman with the alabaster jar of pure oil and do what you can do without comparing it to what others give or don’t give. Give of yourself, according to that which the Lord has provided, as an offering of worship from your heart. Our apparent insignificance can indeed be significant to God if the motive of our hearts and offerings of worship are pure in His sight.

Father, help me remember that you are not interested in anything but the heart from which my offering is given. Amen.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

© Jan Ross
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About the Author:

Janet Ross
Jan is first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ. As a wife of 45+ years, mother of six, and grandmother of 13, she sees life's experiences as opportunities to learn the vastness of our Creator's love. Whether through her speaking, teaching, pen and paper or her trusty laptop, spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ is of paramount importance to her. Creativity flows from her heart with passion, purpose, and proof that the Lord is the central focus of her entire life. Jan’s heart beats in constant rhythm of encouragement for today along with hope for tomorrow based on her love for the Word of God, His Body, and those who have yet to hear of His amazing and boundless love for all.

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