Only one thing matters
But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
Today’s reading is about Martha and her sister Mary. It is a well known account about Jesus being welcomed into the home of Martha, who wanted to host Jesus and his followers. When they came in and Jesus began to teach, Martha got a little stressed because she was busy serving everyone all by herself. Even though she was the one that opened up her home, she expected that her sister would help her serve the group and I’m sure it was a large crowd. When Mary didn’t meet her expectations, Martha interrupted Jesus’ teaching and told Him to tell her sister to help her. This is not the only time siblings came to Jesus to settle a dispute between. However, Jesus didn’t handle the situation quite like Martha thought He would or how He should.
Needless to say, Martha’s behavior has always perplexed me. Not because she was serving, but because of her attitude. The pressure she felt to serve the group forced out the true intent and thoughts in her heart. Instead of serving joyfully, she was preoccupied with the fact that she was doing it all by herself. In reality, her focus was not on serving others, but on making herself look good. That is the reason for her stress! Stress and pressure always come when you are focused on what you can or cannot do.
Honestly, in this story, I can most related to Martha. When hosting groups, I easily find myself busy with the work of serving others. My problem is different than Martha’s though. I busy myself to avoid visiting and chatting with others, or at least I used to. It was very uncomfortable for me and I just didn’t enjoy it. When we began to host small groups in our home, my husband had to teach me that the thing that really mattered is that we connected with people, not serving the right menu or pushing through a curriculum. So, I started forcing myself to reach out to people in the group and intentionally making relationships the top priority instead of the busy work. Even though this was uncomfortable at first, I now find it to be the way I live my life.
Going back to the narrative of Martha and Mary, when Martha complained to Jesus about serving alone, He told her pretty much the same thing my husband told me. Jesus told her that only one thing is needed and that is what Mary had chosen. That was her relationship with Jesus and leaning in and spending time with Him.
So many things that can be learned from this portion of scripture, but I want to focus on what Jesus said is the one important thing. Relationships! First of all, Mary’s relationship with Him and then her relationship with the group. Mary was totally connected into that group and was pressing in to learn all that she could from Him so that she could tell others about Him. Mary had chosen the only thing that matters in life and that is loving God and loving others.
Today I want to encourage you to take a look deep into your heart. Identify if you can relate to Martha and being distracted with busy work or Mary who had chosen to connect with Jesus and others? If you identify with Martha, intentionally begin to change the habits of busyness to making time for what is really important, relationships. Begin with your relationship with your Father in heaven. Make Him the priority of your life and day, every day! Press into Him before you do anything else each day. Even if you only have a few minutes before you have to hurry into getting ready for your day, give that time to your Savior and get to know Him better. Ask Him to help you to intentionally connect with other people and be ready to take a step closer in all your relationships whether they are new or existing. He will guide you one step at a time so that you are not overwhelmed. I will warn you that it will be uncomfortable at first, but when you choose what is important to God, you will be blessed, and that blessing will be how exhilarated you feel when you do reach out to others. Admit to yourself today what is the only thing that matters in life and begin to follow His steps in that direction.
Today’s scripture reading: Luke 10:38-42
38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.
40 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.”
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.
42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”