Guilty as Charged: I have the tendency to be Martha and not Mary

We all have heard the story of Martha and Mary in the bible.  (Luke 10:38-42)  Martha was busy “serving” the Lord and Mary sat at the feet of Jesus to learn and commune with Him.  At some point, Martha complains to Jesus that her sister is not helping her with the work.  Jesus explains to Martha that her sister is doing the most important thing, listening to him. 

Now, for years people have been telling me to slow down because I was “doing” too much.  I admit I had the mentality, “I’ll rest when I go to heaven” or “You aren’t doing anything so don’t try to slow me down.”  On the flip side of that, I’ve had people make me feel guilty when I wanted to take much needed rest and rejuvenation.  I’ve been weary, but the need to “people please” or the feeling of disappointing God caused me to keep pushing.  The result: a tired Carmille. 

The truth is…we can’t keep pouring out if we are not being poured in to.  We can become so busy that we don’t have time to commune with the Lord.  We can focus so much on serving the Lord that we don’t maintain our personal relationship with Him.  We will do a quick devotion in the mornings to check it off our list.  We only study the bible for the lesson we are getting ready to teach.  We only pray before meals, when we are in trouble, or when we are asked by others.  We go to God for everyone else, but ourselves.  Ministry becomes a job.  People become projects.  Friendships become shoving food down over lunch and worship is what I do on Sundays and in the car between work and home.  I’ve done it and if you aren’t careful, you will to.

The truth is…life is hard.  We need constant communication with the Lord in order to maintain our relationship with Him.  I believe it takes more than Sunday and Wednesday night services and participation in ministries.  We need our own personal time with the Lord.  We need time in prayer, worship and studying the scriptures.  We need to have true fellowship with other believers who will encourage us and keep us accountable.  We need to allow God to pour into us, so we have something to pour out to others.

I believe Martha’s heart was in the right place.  She wanted everything to be perfect for the Lord.  I believe God honored her service and will honor our service to Him.  I also believe He is pleased with our service to others.  However, more than anything He wants us to have a close relationship with Him.  He desires to comfort us, to build us up again, to restore us, and more importantly, to love on us.  So, as we go on our Christian journey, let us take time out to sit at the feet of Jesus.  Let us dwell with Him.  Let us learn of Him.  Let Him breathe life into us, so when we go out to serve, we can speak life and hope to this broken world.  


  1. We go to God for everyone else, but ourselves. I identify with this sentence. We have faith and believe for anyone but ourselves. We beat ourselves up on all sides.


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