THE MARY/MARTHA SYNDROME

Luke – Doors Wide Open!
 
Luke 10 m and m worldWe can all easily get caught up in the task, the largeness of the project, and the details of our responsibilities to whatever has been assigned to us to do. In the busyness we can, just as easily, forget the big picture, forget the why and for whom we are doing what we are doing. At work, if we have the Martha syndrome, we push beyond our limits to please our bosses and those around us. Bosses in the work place love people like Martha who make them look good. But Martha people can get carried away, over stressed and overworked easily, losing sight of the outcome or the why. There is a balance that must be struck in our lives.
 
Then there are Marys who are the people persons, who listen, who extend hospitality by their presence and full attention on their guests at home or on clients at work. Marys smile a lot and look into the eyes of people to really hear with focus so they may understand and respond with what their guest needs from them. They also know when to just listen. They know they are not above learning more themselves, so they lean in with attention.
 
We can be both. We should be both in ministry to and with others. With God’s help and wisdom, insight and understanding we can take the best of both Mary and Martha and do God’s work for His glory, learning and growing as we live for Him.
 
Luke 10 chips and dipWhat Jesus is really saying to Martha’s retort of wanting Mary to help her, “Martha, chips and dip with do…come and listen, be with me like Mary is doing.” Jesus didn’t ask for a huge, fancy meal. That was Martha’s idea. Jesus still does not ask for gargantuan ministry explosions today. He wants simplicity from us so we see Him for who He really is…our Savior and our Lord. He wants us to scale down the details that might take our attention from Him (“the devil is in the details”) so our focus on Him is not lost in the largeness of the project. He wants us to be with Him, learn from him and grow in His love, gentleness, kindness, while developing the rest of His characteristics called the fruits of His Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5)
 
FYI…The evil one works best on busy, tired, overworked, and overwhelmed people.
 
HOLY PAUSE…
 
Luke 10 M and MWhen did you put the details first and the reason for doing it last? How did it feel when the task was over?
 
What happens when we put Jesus first in all we do? How does it feel when we override the details for the outcome of learning more about Jesus?
 
Can we scale down what we do for our guests in our grow groups so more time is spent on knowing Christ and each other?
 
Pray and ask God for wisdom, balance, with a heart to please Him.
 
THINK ABOUT IT…
So be a Martha who serves well with a heart like Mary’s. We can do both! Take care of what God has invited you to do with Martha’s heart for serving well and Mary’s heart for staying focused on the reason for living our life well. We can learn from this small passage of great significance!
 
Read slowly and prayerfully. Don’t be too hard on Martha. She loves Jesus, too.
 
Luke 10, New Living Translation
Jesus Visits Martha and Mary
 
Luke 10 one thing38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
 
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
 
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Thank you for this familiar story that bring understanding to doing our best to please you in all we think, do or say for your glory and for your pleasure. Help me to be the best parts of Mary and Martha. Help me to develop the characteristics of you, dear Jesus, for I have discovered that You are the “one, the only one, worth it all” to occupy my time. I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I want what you want. I’m listening…
In Jesus Name, Amen.

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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