Mary or Martha?

Are you a Mary or a Martha?  Take a moment and read Luke 10:38-42.

I love the stories about Jesus’ interactions with people.  Remember, the people in the Bible were not mythical figures with halos around their heads.  They were ordinary folks like us.  People haven’t changed that much in the two thousand years since Jesus walked the earth, so if we’re honest, many times we can see ourselves peeking out from the pages of scripture.

Which character do you identify with in this passage, Mary or Martha?  Why?

It has always been easy to criticize Martha for her behavior in this story, but so often we forget that God does not want us to use scripture to point out other people’s failures, but to illuminate our own faults and glorify the God who lifts us out of them.

From the way she seems in the this passage, Martha seems about as much of a Hot Mess as me. She’s overworked, irritable, impatient, and discontent. Her priorities are all out of whack and she takes that frustration out on those around her. Hmmm….sounds familiar to me.

I’m sure everyone reading this blog has had a day like Martha’s.  Maybe she had a haughty attitude and wanted to impress Jesus and his followers; or perhaps she simply felt like she could serve Him better by being so busy. (I’ve fooled myself into that reasoning)  Either way, Jesus did not wish for Martha to miss out on visiting with Him while sweating over a hot stove.  He knew their time together was limited and she would need what he had to say.  It’s possible she took Jesus for granted, thinking she could visit later when there weren’t so many pressing things to attend to.

I can identify with all of these lines of reasoning, for I have used them myself.  On those busy days when there are so many demands on my time, I try to justify putting off my time with the Lord through a variety of excuses.  Yet, time and time again, I have found that on those crazy days when nothing seems to go well, I need more than ever to take a few moments with God.  It seems that homeschoolers stay so busy, that sometimes it’s easy to make an excuse to skip reading a few verses and spend a quiet moment is prayer.

We must remember that we serve God best by first spending time with Him before we try to DO things for Him.  It will definitely give us patience on those days when things get hectic.

Set aside a specific time of day that is solely reserved for the Lord. If you can’t slip away alone at that time of day, train your children to sit quietly, perhaps looking at a Bible story book, while you enjoy a few verses of scripture. Commit verses to memory regularly.  Think about Bible verses while folding laundry or washing dishes.  Some of my best meditation time comes while I am in the shower.  When my babies were tiny, I would pray while tending them in the middle of the night.  When our children see us taking time to be with God, they will learn the importance of a personal relationship with the Lord.

What excuses are you most likely to use to avoid spending time with God?

Do you procrastinate, thinking you’ll get to it later?

What are some ways you can give time with the Lord a higher priority in your life?

Try to think of some regular times when you can meditate on the Scriptures.  For instance, while mopping, scrubbing or walking to the mailbox.  Try to think of Scripture whenever you do that chore.  It will also keep those hated chores from being such drudgery.

Dirty Dishes


Photo credit: Felix63, Dirty Dishes via Flikr


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