Are you a Mary…or a Martha?

Have you ever been around people (Christians possibly) who work, work, work all the time. They do everything, they’re involved in everything, which is fine, but at the same time, they secretly judge you because you don’t get involved in everything they are involved in or you are not making the choices they do? Why? Because you may not feel the leading of the Spirit to get involved in everything everyone else does.

I’ll admit, maybe there are times you are just supposed to go along with the crowd, not hear from God for yourself and just go along. I’ve always had trouble being that kind of person because I never turned my brain over to other people. It causes me trouble!

Martha was the busy one, from Luke Chapter 10:38. There is so much going on in this story…”Now it happened as they went, that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

Wow…let’s just stop here. ‘Cause I’m just blown away by that. Wow, wow. Jesus is the guest at Martha’s home and she TELLS Him to tell Mary to help her. Let’s dissect all this here, cause I’m seeing a lot of stuff here. Martha is perhaps jealous and definitely angry, #1 because Mary is just sitting there, not helping HER. Martha is also arrogant, if I can go there. First, she asks, Do You not care? to Jesus. It’s almost accusatory. Then she presumed to TELL Jesus (only the Son of God) to tell Mary to help her. Martha is really whining and complaining to her guest! Oh my gosh! Have we ever done that? Oh, man, I have. I believe the truth is that Martha secretly LOVES serving, which is her gifting, but resents it when Mary feels the freedom to do something else, feeling that Mary is somehow being irresponsible. Mary is not like Martha. Martha has self-pity too. She’s a martyr. I sense she may be the older sister, the responsible one. Because I relate so well!

Let’s keep reading….And Jesus answered and said to her,”Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Jesus, in his loving, subtle way, actually rebukes her by taking Mary’s side. He elevates what Mary is doing above what Martha is doing. The story doesn’t record how Martha took this, but one can hope that perhaps Martha let up on her own stress and relaxed a bit.

Let’s talk about our giftings. We all love what God has gifted us with. We should love it. God made us to love it…but not above our love for Him. Which includes not beating other people over the head with it, not being upset because others aren’t like us or when they don’t do what we think they should.  We each have our own specialty giftings. They are to fit together in an expression of the Kingdom. He created us to enjoy what we were created to do for Him, even when we are sacrificing. There is nothing wrong with it. More than likely, Martha was out of kingdom order, which is another explanation for her crankiness and whining. Ever been off kilter with God? Yeh, I get cranky and whiny too.

It’s easy to slip over the invisible line into loving “the ministry” whatever it may be, more than loving God. Without relationship, one does not know when they have crossed the line. When we love “the ministry” or enjoy our gifting more than we love God, we can  find ourselves comparing ourselves with others and judging them. God help us to not touch the anointings of others because of our own insecurities. Who are we to judge another man’s servant? They are servants of God too. We are to rejoice in their giftings and encourage and lift them up.

Envy and jealousy are very evil things. There is only one way to be delivered from them. We must know and be confident in who we are in Christ and who He is in us, and strive to love and encourage all those God puts in our lives.

Pray this with me: Dear Jesus, I want to be a worshipper. I want to learn from You. I don’t want to miss what You have to say to me. Help me to get quiet and listen to Your word. Deal with envy and jealousy in my heart. Deliver me from these things. I want to love You and accomplish Your will on the earth.

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