The other day, Joel Osteen posted the following on Twitter:
Don’t waste time with people who don’t value your gifts or what you have to offer. You are approved, accepted, and anointed.
— Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen) May 5, 2015
I’m so grateful Jesus doesn’t follow this advice.
Jesus “wasted” his time on John the Baptist, even when John didn’t fully appreciate who Jesus was.
Jesus didn’t give up on his mother and his brothers, even when they thought he was out of his mind.
Jesus was infinitely patient with his disciples, even when they couldn’t understand the most obvious of his parables.
Jesus didn’t reject Peter, even when Peter tried to persuade him not to die on the cross.
Jesus didn’t wash his hands of his disciples, even when they were competing with each other over who was the greatest.
Jesus was kind and gracious to James and John, even when they wanted to have the places of honor on his right and on his left.
Jesus didn’t obliterate Peter, even when Peter vehemently denied ever knowing Jesus.
Jesus “wasted” his time on Thomas, even though Thomas refused to believe Jesus had risen from the dead.
Jesus didn’t give up on the disciples on Emmaus Road, even though they were slow to believe all that had been written about him.
Jesus gave grace to the early church, even as it struggled to figure out what to do with the Gentile believers.
Jesus refused to destroy Saul, even as Saul killed and destroyed the people of God.
Jesus extended mercy to Philippian jailer, even as the jailer beat Paul and Silas.
Jesus has extended mercy to me, time and time again. He has “wasted” so much time on me, even when I didn’t love him, didn’t appreciate him, didn’t value all that he was offering me.
I can say with Paul: