38 While they were traveling, he entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” 41 The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”
In the transformation process, our emotions affect the choices we make. Tiredness and stress can sometimes cause us to lash out as Martha did in this passage. As Jesus said, Martha was worried and troubled about many things. She looked at Jesus and saw a tired, hungry man, and she set out to fix the situation. Mary, however, looked at Jesus and saw a friend who needed to talk, so she set out to listen. Yes, we often take a look through our earthly eyes, influenced by our earthly gifts, without taking the time to seek His guidance on what is needed in the moment.
I understand Martha’s complaints—she truly was aggravated that Mary was just sitting there at the feet of Jesus while she was distracted by her personal agenda, so she demanded that Jesus make Mary help her with what she was doing. I’ve been there—missing the most important and eternal things while I rushed about “doing” rather than “being.” I, too, have been a slave to my own poor choices instead of partaking in the joy of hearing His voice and learning from Him as Mary had chosen to do. Mary had chosen the good part…like the Good Samaritan—ready to love our Lord, our neighbor, and ourselves, too.
Mary chose to sit humbly at Jesus’ feet, giving careful attention to what He was teaching.
As we mature in Him, we learn to choose the transforming process of encountering Jesus through studying His Word, gathering with others, and listening. It’s a choice that brings us into a deeper relationship with Him, one that develops special memories and guides us forward.
When I was in the “Martha Mode,” I often missed His highest and best. I missed the eternal message He sought to teach because my focus was on what I had already ascertained by my fleshly evaluation or by what someone else did or didn’t do.
Our attitude makes such a huge difference in how we view our God-given assignments!
Jesus has affirmed that being a servant is a great calling, but we have to let that service flow out of a reservoir of love, acceptance, and gratitude rather than complaining about what someone else is doing with their time and talents.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- If I find myself in a conflict, how can I identify what choice I need to make?
- How can I find peace within this situation?
- How can I show love when my emotions are stirred up by my priorities or complaints?
- Where is my focus?