“Wasting” is bad. If you look at it from the modern perspective of efficiency and convenience, wasting is a quite idiotic thing to do. However, there are moments when even such stupid act is considered vaulable. When we love, we commit such idiotic “wastings”. In front of love, the efficiency and convenience do not get prioritized. Even if it is for a trivial reason, one may travel that long distances for his or her lover. We spend generously, our hard earned money for our loved ones. It may look like a ‘waste’ to others; nevertheless, — between people who love each other — it is the most valuable thing.
For some, the adjective “holy” may not look right in front of the word ‘waste’. “Wasting is just wasting. What is “holy” wasting ?”, you may ask. In the faith life that I’ve experienced, there has always been a ‘holy wasting.’ Faith life itself requires holy wasting. This is because faith life is a journey of love.
Worship service? We just need to be on time. . . right? No! If you do not see the holy wasting that you’re providing for the service, there is a need to re-examine your heart towards God. Even if the circumstances only allow you to worship at home online, the ‘holy wasting’ should still be there. Preparing yourself, dressing nicely, and getting ready by praying for the service before worship starts — even if no one's watching — are all included in the category of ‘holy wasting.’ Carrying your bible to church, even if a smartphone can do basically everything, could be another example of holy wasting. Another another example I see is people coming the long way to attend in person service when no one would blame them if they worshipped at home
Offering? Just like faith life, at the core of offerings is not the money but rather the intention. If you don’t have the right heart, you don’t need to do the offerings. This is because God looks at the heart. The reason money is given as an offering is because money itself is very important in our life; as crucial as it is, it carries the weight of our hearts. The early Korean Chirstians — who did not have much money — set aside a certain time and energy to God as an offering; sometimes, they also offered rice as a substitute. When I teach my own children about offerings, I tell them that just giving the one dollar you received from mom and dad in the morning is not an offering. I tell them to at least write a small confession note to God on the offering envelope; if you see a pretty leaf on the street while walking, include it on the offering envelope as well. Although it may seem like a wasteful action for some, I believe it is such a heart that God that looks at.
I think that the efficiency and convenience mindset of modern society is eroding the very nature of our faith. If your faith life begins to become defined by efficiency and convenience, you should examine yourself again. I pray that everyone can come to understand the value of “holy waste”.
From pastor, JiWon Choi