Matthew 26:6 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. 8 And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? 9 For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor." 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her."
Jesus' last statement has been proved true over the past two thousand years. The woman's act of preparing Jesus for burial by pouring the ointment on His body is part of the scripture taught to every believer that has ever lived and been taught the Bible. What Jesus says happens!
We need to determine what waste is and isn't when we use our material resources. How do we do that? We do that by being directed by the will of God written in the Bible and prompted by the Holy Spirit (Note: Holy Spirit promptings never violate the written word of God). If the poor have food and clothing for a day, they are supplied the amount promised by the word of God. When we do the will of God, we are doing for the Lord. Giving an expensive gift to your wife or husband to express love is doing it for Jesus. We don't need to feel guilty, thinking we should have sent the money to the poor. Building up your mate is not waste. Giving gifts to your children instead of giving them a card saying you sent the money to the poor is not a waste of money.
Another question to ask springs from Jesus statement, "You always have the poor with you." Will we ever eliminate poverty in the world? No. We will always have the poor with us. We are to help the poor indeed, but that does not mean we are wasting our money by giving expensive gifts to express our love for others.