Working in full time ministry is hard. Working in full time ministry is tiring. Working in full time ministry can bring feelings of under appreciation. Don’t get me wrong, it is beyond rewarding, and I wouldn’t want my life any other way right now. However I think working in ministry or really any line of work can cause us to focus on just the job instead of focusing on the most important thing. You have thoughts of, “Just make it through!” “Just give godly counsel to so in so and be done.” “I can’t take that unexpected interruption right now! I have to do this one thing.” You focus on the job at hand instead of maybe focusing on the One who you are serving. You serve because it is the right thing to do instead of serving out of love for our Savior.
Personally I have been convicted of this of late. Some of my co-workers and friends are going through a Bible Study, and we ended up talking about Martha the other day. As we talked about her and one of the few if not the only instance the Bible mentions her, I thought, “Wow Lord, I am being Martha.” I get so focused on my ministry that I fail to notice where my priorities should be or even taking the opportunities that God gives me to be fed by the Holy Spirit.
I think most know the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Jesus comes to visit their home. Martha was busy preparing a meal while Mary sat by Jesus’ feet soaking up His words. Martha becomes frustrated at Mary, and exclaims to the Lord that He should have made Mary help. Instead of rebuking Mary, Jesus responds to Martha’s frustration with a surprising answer. He explains to Martha that making of the meal was not needful instead she should have chosen the same as her sister. Mary chose to learn from the Lord which cannot be taken away from her. Mary chose eternal things.
Again, I think this can be translated into all walks of life. Wives, mothers, women who work outside the home, those who work with their families, those in ministry. What Martha was doing was not wrong, but she missed to opportunity to be fed by Jesus’ word. Her priorities were all wrong in the moment. She did not choose the most important thing. It got me to thinking. Is sitting at Jesus’s feet a priority in my life? Is it more important to me that I plow through my household chores, my job, and my social life without so much a thought towards eternal things? Those things I am doing aren’t wrong per se, but I have lost my sight on what really matters. To Martha physical help was what she needed. Jesus explained that the spiritual opportunity was more important.
This can be transferred even in everyday life. There are times where I need to get the laundry done, but my husband as asked me to watch a show with him. I often have to remind myself that maybe laundry can wait. Spending time with my husband is far more important that starting that load. I am becoming a mother, and something I want to work on is my priorities with my kids. Can dishes wait to read them a book or cuddle them to sleep?
What is important to you? Spending time with Jesus or stressing about daily life? Let’s not be Martha and focus on what is really important.
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