I’ve been reading a devotional plan on my Bible app, Made like Martha.
Each devotional and Scripture revealed to me that my perspective of Martha and Mary was wrong, and so was my interpretation of Luke 10:38-42. When I read these passages, I thought Jesus was saying Martha needed to be more like her sister, Mary. But I was wrong.
Jesus was not comparing Martha to her sister. He wasn’t telling Martha that she shouldn’t be who He made her be, a doer. Jesus was saying Mary chose to take advantage of a glorious opportunity to stop, sit, listen, learn, and enjoy the company of the Savior (v. 42).
For the longest time, I understood verses 41 and 42 to mean, Martha, you need to change and be more like Mary. Martha, you messed up again. Martha, you’re overdoing it again. Martha, be more like your sister. Martha, you are doing it again. Dimmer down that go-getter side of you and try to be more like your sister.”
Notice how those statements tend to demoralize Martha? Notice how reading those verses in that way makes us feel compelled to compare ourselves to our Christian sisters? Notice the negative tone I used to interpret Jesus’ conversation with Martha? My perception of how I saw myself was making me misinterpret that passage. My perfectionist viewpoint made me think that God was saying Mary was perfect. Therefore, Martha (Rhovonda) needs to be perfect and try harder. Trying to understand the meaning of Luke 10:41-42 cynically makes us think these destructive thoughts: Why am I not like Mary? I wish I did things the way she does. I wish I wasn’t like this. I don’t like how I am. I want to be more like Mary.
Hence the comparison.
That old habit of trying to prove myself made me think I needed to prove myself to God. Prove that I can be more like Mary. Prove that I can do things her way. I can be Mary. Such warp thinking! My old mindset made me think that being me wasn’t good enough: a go-getter, a multi-tasker, efficient, dependable, and making sure everyone is ok. My old way of thinking made me not want to be who God made me be, a doer. A server. Yes, I get things done. Reading Luke 10:38-42 with an old mindset says I am not enough. I still need to do more. Be more.
Isn’t that just like a Martha? There’s always more to do. If we thought this way and lived this way all the time, we would wear ourselves out! We’d be exhausted and despondent, struggling and burdened to be more. That’s not of God. And that’s certainly not what Jesus was implying as He spoke to Martha.
Here’s what the Lord revealed to me about His conversation with Martha.
In Luke 10:38-42, I am not saying that Martha is not good enough. I am not saying that Mary is better. I’m not saying you need to do more. Nor am I saying that I’m not pleased with how you are. I made Martha a doer. You are a doer.
I am saying, beloved, take every opportunity given to spend time with Me. It’s ok to take a break and just be still with Me. Just sit still. Just be. I want you to rest in My love. Rest in My presence. Rest in My peace. Come to Me and cease striving. I love that I can count on you to get things done. I love that you make sure everything is taken care of. But. I want to take care of you. I want you to take care of yourself. I want you to lean on Me. My strength. My power. My comfort. My love. Ok? No more comparing. No more trying to be someone else. No more trying to do more. I love you just the way I made you.
Whenever we read the Bible, we should self-reflect, not condemn ourselves. We should be encouraged to want to live according to God’s principles. His Word says,
Not once did the above verses say to condemn. It says that the Word of God teaches, corrects, trains, and equips. Therefore, let us read God’s inspired Word to learn, grow, and be prepared and equipped to do good work for Him.
In essence, Mary was able to enjoy the Savior’s company. On the other hand, Martha, could not because she was consumed by other things. She missed out on such a beautiful moment to spend with Jesus. Perhaps after Jesus brought it to Martha’s attention, she could sit, be still, rest at Jesus’ feet, and be blessed in His presence.
Let’s Pray: Lord, help me relax and simply enjoy You and what You are doing in my life. Lord, when I sit and be still, allow my mind to not run all over the place. But be settled on You and Your love. Thank You for making me a doer. I love serving You. Teach me how to serve You with my worship and praise. Show me how to sit still and rest and not feel guilty about doing those things. I love being in Your presence. Pull me closer to You that I may bask in Your beauty, holiness, and incredible love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Are you a Martha or a Mary? How did you interpret Luke 10:38-42?
I pray that you were encouraged and strengthened by today’s Walking in Freedom! Devotional.
Now, let’s walk in freedom together!
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