Are You A Mary or Martha?
Luke 10:38-42 is about two sisters, Mary and Martha, who are welcoming Jesus and his disciples into their home. One sister, Mary, was sitting at Jesus’ feet taking in all He said. The other sister is Martha (I imagine her similar to a Southern woman who has invited guests over for a nice brunch). She is preparing fluffy pancakes, fruit, and biscuits and gravy, pouring the sweet tea and being the social butterfly in the room, accommodating all the visitors in her home. She sees her sister not doing a lick of work, but she holds her tongue.
After Martha checks on the food and the place settings for the fifth time, she has had enough. She marches out to her sister, hands on her hips in her sundress, and demands, “Jesus, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work? Tell her to help me!” This reminds me so much of my sister and me tattling to our parents about the other. I picture Jesus letting Martha stand there irritated for a few breaths. Then he got up from where he was sitting and, in a calm voice smooth as honey, says,
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things, but they are not needed. Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”
Confession: I am a Martha. I have always been a Martha to my core.
Recently, I was rushing to the hospital because my sister was about to have her first baby. As I drove, I was a nervous wreck worrying about all the things my family and I needed to do. There were many unfinished jobs, as her baby boy was arriving a few weeks early. I worried that we did not pack my sister’s bag yet, we had not cleaned her house, and we had no meals prepared for her and her husband. Where are my Martha’s at?
God hit me with the story of Mary and Martha.
I began to pray for the health of my sister and her baby, and a dose of peace wrapped around me. I had gone into full-blown Martha mode without even stopping and soaking in the fact that a miracle would soon be arriving in our lives. I slowly started to turn my mindset into that of a Mary. God was about to rock our worlds with a beautiful baby boy! This should be celebrated, and God needed to be praised for keeping my sister and her baby healthy with no complications.
What keeps your mind thinking like a Martha? It could be your schoolwork, your job, your ministry, or a million things in between. There is nothing wrong with being organized or being a planner. I have three calendars I use to stay organized. Three! It becomes a problem when you let the planning and organizing get in the way of your relationship with God; when being a busybody leaves you empty because you pushed Jesus out, not even knowing you did in the first place.
Worry can eat away at us. It just takes a small seed of worry, and the devil will water it until it grows and grows. It may have started as a small worry about a text message you received stating, ‘Call me,’ from your mom. Then five seconds later, your mind has gone to the worst possible scenario because of two words. (But moms should know you cannot just send a text message like that without more details. Come on, moms.)
How do we combat allowing worry and our need to plan out every detail distract us from God?
Take a breath. We don’t need to have it all together, all the time.
Realize when you are getting caught up in something, and hold yourself accountable.
Trust in God. He is the playmaker, not you.
Pray. God will give you peace, and praying will help you center your focus back on Him.
Find verses that help:
Matthew 6:25-34 – These verses are entirely dedicated to reminding you to not be anxious about anything.
James 4:13-15 – Verse 14 says, “Why, you don’t even know what will happen tomorrow.”
Colossians 3:23 – “Do everything for the Lord.”
Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know the Lord is God; He has it covered.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Whitney can be described by the opening lyrics of a few Tom Petty songs. She's a good girl who grew up in a small Indiana town who loves her mama, Jesus, and America too. She practices medicine as a physician assistant at an urgent care. Whitney is a music enthusiast and leads worship at her church. She has a heart for people, and wants to help young girls and women find their worth in Christ rather than what the world says of them. Whitney loves a good dad joke, the outdoors, spending time with family and friends, Southern manners, working on her fitness, attempting Pinterest crafts, and cheering on Indiana University basketball.