Christian Living

A life poured out: Is it really worth the extra effort?

By Laura Woodworth
female athlete
Is it worth it to go the extra mile? Does God – or anyone else for that matter – really notice when you go above and beyond? Extra hours put in at work to complete a project, volunteer work at church, even the sacrifices you make for your family can sometimes seem ignored or unnoticed. Is the extra effort worth it?
​Do you remember the story of King David’s three mighty men? They risked their lives to go behind enemy lines to draw water from the well at Bethlehem and bring it back to the king. You could say it was a reckless move, but the action was birthed out of hearts of love and loyalty.

“David longed for water and said, ‘Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!’So the three mighty warriors broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it, instead, he poured it out before the Lord.” 2 Samuel 23:15-16 NIVAn offering poured out before the Lord… 

Skip ahead to the New Testament and you’ll find another sacrifice poured out, as Mary “wasted” what was worth a year’s wages to anoint the feet of Jesus.

“Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” John 12:3

If you recall the story, Judas (and others!) had a problem with this sacrifice poured out. But Jesus defended her.

“‘Leave her alone,’ said Jesus. ‘Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me… She did what she could…’” Mark 14:6, 8

She did what she could. A sacrifice poured out. A life lived in reckless abandon to love and honor the Lord. A beautiful act that was greatly valued in Jesus’ eyes.

Your sacrifice – the work of your hands, the giving of your heart and time and resources – is seen. And if done in a spirit of service to the Lord, he will reward.

Before you slip into anger or allow a spirit of offense or bitterness to rise in you – that “they never acknowledge my work” or “they never see the extra I do” – reset your focus on God.

In all you do, in all you give, keep your eyes fixed on him above and trust. Your pouring out is precious to him. What you have given in secret is seen. What you have given out of your own need is noticed.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6


Laura Woodworth is an award winning writer-producer-director, a development executive for Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles, and a script consultant for Stage 32. Her articles have been carried by Family Christian, Outreach Magazine, and Charisma Magazine, and her YouVersion devotionals have over 200K subscribers. This article is an excerpt from her new devotional book, “Through the Valley—Move Your Life Forward in God” available on Amazon and other retailers. Find out more at

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