I’m currently going through the She Reads Truth summer Bible study in women and men in the New Testament and I love it. Each day has curated scripture passages about particular people in the Bible plus a short devotional. Additionally, each Monday there is a podcast where they discuss the coming week’s reading.
As you would expect, one day of the reading plan featured the sisters, Mary and Martha. You may know the story. Jesus was visiting their home. Mary was scurrying around taking care of everything while Martha sat at Jesus feet. Mary, exasperated, basically said, “Hey, Jesus! I’m drowning over here, how about you tell my sister to help me a little.” (That’s the Tiffany transition. That’s also the Tiffany approach to feeling like I’m the only one doing stuff, but I digress…). Jesus responded, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not enough taken from her.”
I’ve always heard this story discussed with the “don’t be a Martha, be a Mary” approach. And frankly, that’s always frustrated me. Because for the love of Pete, someone has to get things done. Without a doer, there likely would her been no bed for Jesus to sleep on, no meal for anyone to eat, and as Jada Edwards said on the SRT podcast, “Mary had kneeling time because the house was clean! She wasn’t kneeling on legos because Martha cleaned up.” Amen to that. The world needs doers, who also understand that they need Jesus.
If you look at Jesus’ reaction to Martha, he didn’t tell her to be more like Mary. He did not tell her that the tasks she was doing were not good and right. In fact, these very tasks may have been part of her ministry.
What Jesus said was simply that Martha was worried and distracted by the world, and that only one thing was necessary—time with Him. He did not prohibit her from being a doer. In fact, he didn’t comment on her tasks at all, only the worry and distraction in her heart. He didn’t rebuke her, he just reminded her of what was the most important thing. Him.
So here I am. A self-diagnosed doer. With dishes in the sink and a living room in disarray and a bed fill of folded laundry I need to put away. All of these tasks matter. They are necessary. I’d dare say they are instrumental to my calling and my sanctification.
But thanks to my new understanding of this passage, I am focusing on the fact that while each of these tasks need done, my time with Jesus is more important.
Tonight, I’m sitting still. Bible open. Journal ready. She Reads Truth app to guide me. Me and Martha working on remembering the one thing that matters most…then burning the midnight oil to check a couple more things off the to do list.