The story of Mary and Martha used to fill me with guilt for being busy until I realized that it wasn’t a story about a woman who was busy. Jesus basically (in my paraphrase) said, “Martha, you’re a worried mess and you need stop trying to get everything perfect for me. I want you, not your performance.”
Whether or not she was trying to earn His approval, love or just impress everyone; she missed the point and I know that I have too.
Mary knew that the most important thing happening was at His feet. Listening, learning and resting in His love.
Shouldn’t this be easy??
Shouldn’t it come naturally??
Yes, I think it does, but many of us have forgotten how to live instinctively. We know in theory that we should put our family first, that God has given us the gift of family and they matter most. But we are busy meeting everyone else’s needs, sometimes even at the expense of our own families. We’ve lost touch with His still small voice that is always speaking to us about priorities.
When my grown children were younger, I spent so much time away from them doing church activities and it grieves me to think that the church even used to pay our babysitter so we could do the work of the ministry. I left my own children OFTEN, too often, and even though they were in good care (excellent in fact), they were not with their parents. I thought I was honoring God, but now I think I was looking for His approval through performance. I thought I would be a better Christian if I did more for Him. And yes, I enjoyed the accolades and approval of others, though it took me a long time to admit it.
I did not know how to be anything but busy. I did not know how to rest at His feet. I was striving to earn His love.
Yes, I was doing good things, God things. I would compare it to having the whole family home but busy in different rooms doing different things and never spending time together. You can call that family time, but without connection, we’re just existing together.
Of course there are busy seasons, but I encourage you to ask yourself:
Why am I doing this?
Who is benefitting?
Does it strengthen my family?
Does it draw me closer to God?
Our walk with God will not grow while we’re trying to earn His love. God’s love for you is not based on your performance, you can securely rest in His love when you stop trying to earn it.
Gal 2:19-20 The Message
What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God.