December 6, 2012

Inner Extravagance

When a certain immoral woman from that city heard He was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind Him at His feet, weeping. Her tears fell on His feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing His feet and putting perfume on them.” Luke 7:37

Extravagance. That’s what this woman displayed. She opened up a very expensive jar of perfume, probably her most valuable possession in the world, and she poured out the perfume, and as it splashed on Jesus’ feet, it mixed with something even more precious, her tears of repentance. She was accused of being wasteful and extravagant. Wasteful she was not. Yes, she was extravagant, but she experienced extravagant forgiveness. She experienced extravagant emotional healing. She experienced extravagant love and peace. I’m convinced more and more that the only way to build rich and deep relationships is extravagance. All deep relationships have to be built on extravagance. If I’m going to really connect on a deep level with my kids, it takes extravagant effort. I have to get into their lives. It takes extravagant creativity and energy and effort, and sometimes, I just settle for ignorance and arrogance. To continue a deep and strong marriage relationship with my wife, it takes extravagant intentionality. We have to get out our calendars and really plan our dates, plan our getaways. We have to really plan our conversation so we can connect on a deep level in our busy schedules. We have to get very intentional about keeping our marriage strong and deep.

I’m amazed at the intentionality it takes to build a strong relationship. For a relationship to last a lifetime, it takes extravagant forgiveness because two people who are imperfect are going to hurt each other, and those are wounds that need more than a band-aid. I’m amazed at how it takes extravagant commitment, extravagant intentionality, extravagant energy, extravagant creativity, extravagant forgiveness, extravagant love, extravagant effort to build deep relationships. I’m convinced more and more that this is the secret, the foundation for deep relationships. Extravagance. I’m not talking about extravagance on the outside. I’m talking about extravagance on the inside. Extravagance from the heart. The deepest part of who we are is our heart. This woman extravagantly poured her heart out on Jesus Christ. The perfume that was so expensive was just a symbol of her heart that was so precious and valuable. She poured out the perfume, and her tears fell from her eyes as she was pouring out her heart, and that’s what it takes to build strong relationships. Extravagance. Putting all your passion, all your emotion, all your being, all your heart into a relationship. That’s what it takes, and that’s why we settle for surface-level relationships. Surface-level relationships are very common because real relationships need more, they need extravagance.

During this very busy season, take time to put extravagant time, energy, passion, and commitment into your closest relationships! How can you do this today?