“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)
If you’re like me, the girl who has a hard time saying no, you probably love the above passage of scripture. It’s a good reminder of the differences between what God expects and what we expect from ourselves and others. Honestly, I try hard to be like Mary but so many times I end up being more like Martha. That’s mostly because I’m the person who likes to troubleshoot. I see a problem—I fix it. That’s who I am. And if someone needs me…well that just adds marbles to the mixer.
Just like Martha, I’ve often pushed myself to the place of feeling overwhelmed, even stressed out trying to be “all things to all people.” (Boy if there was ever a misused verse…) At one point, I had taken on so much that I felt buried under an intangible cloud of guilt because I couldn’t do it all. I kept telling myself things like, “I have to get better organized,” or “I just need a little more time.” Just like Martha my life was full of the busyness of ministry. And just like Martha I’d abandoned relationship for perceived duty. Keep in mind, nobody asked Martha to go make the sandwiches or get the guest room ready. Jesus never asked for special treatment nor did his entourage of disciples. What started as good intentions in Martha’s heart somehow got twisted into something less than pleasing to the Lord.
Here’s my opinion: Martha lost sight of her priorities.
There’s every indication that Martha loved Jesus and she wanted to serve him but her service to him became of greater importance to her than her actual relationship with Jesus.
Can you see yourself in the passage above? Did you start out wanting to serve but have somehow ended up abandoning your relationship with Jesus? It’s not too late to change course. Begin the shift back to relationship by talking to the Lord. Tell him how you feel, how you’ve missed him. Ask him to help you cut away anything that prevents you from just sitting at his feet. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to be protective of that relationship. He loves you!
Read more from Mimi by following her blog at Tools for Kids Church.
1 thought on “Devotional: Shifting from Martha to Mary”
your relationship with the Lord may not suffer, but your relationship with your own family does. You don’t put your Husband and Children in their proper place for caring and sharing. I’ve noticed some of my friends who do an awful lot for the congregation/Lord, seemingly unable to relax and just sit down and do nothing and enjoy their own family. They are on their lap top or iphone even when you are trying to converse. Gadgets are wonderful helps, but should be just that. I think they are addictive. I’ve heard a mother complain that her daughter is constantly looking at her phone and texting while she has stopped in to see her and is trying to have a conversation with her. That is just plain RUDE and inconsiderate, and certainly not showing love or respect. just sayin’…