“There are so many things to do,” Martha remarks.
Guest is here, but our home’s messy.
Guest is here, but table’s empty.
Guest is here, but Mary’s lazing.
She’s hosting Jesus today, and she’s already feeling flustered and forgotten. Distressed and distracted.
In recent weeks, through my quiet time and conversations, the familiar account of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) has strongly resurfaced in my mind.
The verses resonated within me because I was feeling like Martha: flustered and forgotten. I was distressed and distracted.
As I took the effort to learn how to quietly sit by His feet once more, I heard God telling me this: don’t let your doing affect your being.
TO BE OR TO DO
Unlike Mary, I struggled increasingly to come to my Saviour’s feet and simply be His child. My heart was flustered and distracted. Like Martha, I was preoccupied with many things – fixated on the doing of things.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with doing or with deeds. It was only appropriate for Martha to be a responsible host, especially since she had invited Jesus to her home (Luke 10:38).
But if the doing supersedes the being, then like Martha, we may end up hearing hear God say: “My child, you are anxious and troubled about many things.”
Service – or serving – is of far less importance compared to spending time with Him.
To be clear, Jesus was not implying service in itself is bad when He said this (Luke 10:41). His counsel to Martha was that service – or serving – is of far less importance compared to spending time with Him.
Service is important. But it counts for nothing without first being a faithful child of God.
We should all be like Mary, who prioritised an authentic and intimate relationship with Him over doing works. (James 2:14-26).
Faith without deeds is dangerous for our souls. But deeds without faith – that’s mere altruism.
THE BETTER THING
Perhaps you’re also in a season where doors are opening. You may find yourself with the opportunities to do many good things for Christ.
But in doing so, we can’t forget the better thing – deep intimacy with our Saviour. Let being supersede doing. Come to His feet, before serving at the table. Pursuit over performance.
Spend time with Him before spending time with His people. Love Him first before loving His people. We are to channel His love – not merely our own.
When we walk this life at the pace of our Father’s heart, we will know how to be still and rest before God like Mary. Serving hands must be complemented by a rested heart.