I have read the story of Mary and Martha many a time, and it never fails to make me stop and think.
Think about what Luke says. “Martha welcomed him into her home.” (38)
And yet when he entered, she was “distracted with much serving.” (vs. 40—ESV)
Put another way, she was ironically “pulled away from Jesus” by all her serving.
Not only that, she was “worried and upset about many things.” (41)
What was she so worried and upset about? Perhaps she was worried about trying to please Jesus. To make everything perfect for him. And she got upset when things weren’t going just right. Sounds like a perfectionist to me. How would I know? I’m a perfectionist myself.
And like Martha, when I serve the Lord, I want everything to be perfect. And when things don’t go perfectly, I get anxious and upset.
Do we know (do I know?) in our heart of hearts that we don’t have to earn Jesus’ favor? That he already not only accepts us, but looks at us favorably?
Or are we constantly running around trying to serve him, and getting worried or upset whenever things don’t go just right because deep down we have doubts that he really has accepted us? That he already looks at us favorably?
All of us have welcomed Jesus into our lives. But now that he’s dwelling in our hearts, are we pulled away from spending time with him, distracted with “much serving?” Or do we actually take the time to stop and spend time with him, talking to him, and listening to him?
Of course there is a time for us to serve Jesus. Actually, a better way to put it is that there’s a time for us to serve with Jesus. But if we forget that he already loves us and looks at us with favor, we will start to lose perspective in life as Martha did.
Look at Jesus’ words to Martha. What do you think is most important to him?