Are You A Mary Or A
Jeanette Berry, October 1990
Last Sunday night my husband preached a message about Martha
and Mary. I am sure you know the
story of the two sisters. They along with their brother,
Lazarus, were friends of Jesus. During a visit of Jesus
Martha was cumbered about with much serving and was upset because
Mary did not help her, but was sitting at Jesus' feet listening to
Him teach. Martha complained to Jesus, but He rebuked her
stating that Mary had chosen "that good part which would not be
taken from her."
The message was tremendous, but
left me troubled and searching of my own heart. I am
extremely busy and can always see a dozen jobs that need to be
done. I am constantly on the lookout for others that I feel
could help me. There is so much to be done for the Lord...if
we just had more people to help!" The question I asked
of myself, "Am I a Martha"?
After our Wednesday night prayer
service, a group of our women had a meeting. To my surprise
I found that they had reacted to the Sunday night message just as
I did; basically re-evaluating their own service to God.
The discussion was quite though provoking. Questions were
proposed such as; What would have happened if Martha had not
served? Would Jesus have been pleased to have nothing to
eat? Was Martha too much of a perfectionist or too
demanding? What about Mary just sitting? Clearly Jesus
was pleased by her actions. In our own minds we wanted to
understand just what Jesus was saying in this particular incident.
Clear in my mind, I want to be a
Mary. Through the years I have often wondered if I were to
choose only one woman from the Bible to be my heroine, which one
would it be. Obviously, I revere Mary, the mother of Jesus.
I feel there is a sacredness about her to which I could never
attain. The Old Testament records several admirable women,
but non of them speak to me as does Mary, the sister of Martha and
Lazarus. She appears to be totally immersed in Jesus.
Nothing else matters when He is around. She listened and she
understood His message. She know Who He was and what He was
about. After His resurrection it was Mary who was first at
the tomb and it was her name He first spoke. When I think of that
kind of relationship with our Lord my heart responds and
longs to be like that.
While my heart longs to be Mary, I
find my hands and feet being Martha, "cumbered about with much
serving." Is there a point of moderation? Can I do
both? The answer is certainly, yes. Ecclesiastes
states there is a time for everything. I think that is the
key. I believe Mary worked diligently, but when Jesus was
teaching, she put everything aside and gave Him her full
attention. Nothing else mattered. She listened with
her mind, soul, and spirit. She listened with understanding.
How often I sit through a service
where a man of God is speaking God's message and my thoughts are
miles away. I am not concentrating on listening, learning,
and applying what God wants me to hear. I am too cumbered
about with all the activities I have to do, the people I must see,
and the things that must be accomplished in order to serve Jesus.
I want to follow Mary's example and work at other times.
When Jesus is speaking I want Him to have my full attention;
listening with heart, mind, soul and understanding.
I might add here that the same principle applies to husbands.
How many husbands feel as if no one cares, listens or understands.
We as wives need to be the one who is there to listen to him, to
care about his concerns, and to understand with a loving heart.
It is one of the main ingredients of a happy, successful marriage.
My philosophy is to work like Martha until.... Until it
is time to listen and sit at the feet of Jesus. Then all
else should be put aside as we sit at His feet like Mary.
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.