January 26, 2016

Are You Mary or Martha?

Posted in Christianity tagged , , , , , at 9:31 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“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!’” (Luke 10:40)

If you know the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42, then you likely recognize yourself in one of these women. At certain times in our lives, we might be one and then the other, depending on circumstances. I am a Martha. I can honestly say that I have rarely been a Mary. I struggle to sit still, not because I can’t, but because I feel unproductive when I do. I thrive on accomplishing goals and staying busy.

Over the years, I have struggled to develop an attitude like Mary’s, where I let go of my worries and busyness and immerse myself at the feet of Jesus. Despite my best efforts, worries – about looming deadlines, the health of family members, friends who have moved away, you name it – and a never-ending to-do list crowd out my good intentions.

Relying on “my best efforts” means I will always fall short. Instead of trying to let go through my own efforts, I need to rely on Jesus to help me with this. According to Jesus, Martha wasn’t wrong to try to accomplish her tasks, but she was wrong to focus on those tasks over learning from him. Accomplishment is good – but only when it doesn’t take us away from Jesus.

When the tasks in front of me begin to overwhelm me, I, like Martha, often complain to Jesus about the amount of work to be done. His answer is always the same: “‘Be still, and know that I am God…’” (Ps. 46:10). It is only when I set aside the worries of the day and my busy schedule that I find peace in him.

What are you struggling with today? Lay it at the feet of Jesus and let him grant you peace.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, please take my worries and the tasks that overwhelm me and bless me with your peace. Amen.


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