It was over a decade ago I realized, “I am Martha!” Initially, I remember a hidden feeling of accomplishment, as if it felt good to share personality traits with this infamous Biblical character. Then, it sunk in. I realized being more Martha than Mary was not necessarily the best thing.
Are you Mary or Martha?
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 10.41-42
This passage seems to indicate Martha was prone to worry and, according to the Lord, her worry wasn’t only about one or two things. Mary, on the other hand, seemed less distracted by stuff going on around her.
Let’s play a little game. It’s called…
You Might Be Martha IF:
- …you are a first-born (or an only child).
- …you have a type-A personality.
- …you not only like to make lists, you need lists to cope.
- …you like order in most aspects of your life.
- …you become flustered by changes to the prescribed order.
If you are a Martha, please hear me on this. Martha-s are necessary to the system. Never think God made a mistake in creating you as one who likes to plan and who prefers a
little lot of order.
Without the order-makers, there would be no detailed calendars or schedules for the Mary-types to follow. Without the planners, the latest church dinner or community outreach would never get off the ground. Without the first-born, type-A personalities, who would step up to the plate when no other leader emerges?
Being Martha is a good thing but like other good things, it comes with weaknesses.
Probably the number one weakness – and boy, do I see this in myself – is letting the situation consume us to the point we overlook what is better.
Sometimes, I wish I were Mary. Is anyone else with me? When Martha-types get a glimpse of the story in Luke 10, it’s not unusual to decide it’s time to make some changes. “I’ll be more like Mary from here on out.”
The commitment to reduce worry in our life may lead us to regrets about who we are or what we have become. Self-evaluation is never bad. God’s Word will do that to you, but don’t become bogged down in regret.
Instead, be willing to admit you’ve made some bad decisions along the way. Acknowledge you have leaned on your own order-making abilities more than having chosen what is better.
And what is better?
Leaning on Jesus is always the better thing. Looking to Him first, over the distractions and needs of daily life – this is better.
Worshiping Him with all we have and all we are, as we walk through life…this brings peace, rest and focus in the chaos. It teaches us to look beyond the worry and those things that upset our routine.
“Eyes on Jesus” is the only way Martha-s have a hope of choosing what is better.
Watch the Mary-s around you. They seem to live in the present and take everything in stride. Mary-types frustrate the Martha-s in the room, don’t they? No matter whether you’re Mary or Martha, you know what I’m talking about.
It is not only important to choose what is better, it’s important we work together. As Mary-s and Martha-s working together and preferring one another in love, we will see the miraculous happen.
Let’s come together, learn from one another, and serve the kingdom of God in harmony. Then, each of us can say we have truly chosen what is better – dying to self, that He might live more fully in and through us.