Don’t Be A Martha!


Jesus continued from there toward Jerusalem and came to another village. Martha, a resident of that village, welcomed Jesus into her home. Her sister, Mary, went and sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to Him teach. Meanwhile Martha was anxious about all the hospitality arrangements.

Martha (interrupting Jesus): Lord, why don’t You care that my sister is leaving me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to get over here and help me.

Jesus: Oh Martha, Martha, you are so anxious and concerned about a million details, but really, only one thing matters. Mary has chosen that one thing, and I won’t take it away from her.”

~Luke 10:38-42 (VOICE)

As a girl raised in church, the story of Mary and Martha is one I’ve heard a gazillion times.

I get it. Martha was a Doer; Mary was a Sitter. Martha was a spaz; Mary was calm.

I’m a Martha. (Big shock, I know.)

Recently, I met up with a close friend/fellow Martha.  We talked about our jam-packed schedules, the frustration of  “doing all the work,” and our paradoxical desire to do more for Jesus.

By the time we finished our coffee we had solved all the world’s problems; found a cure for cancer and ended hunger. But something still felt unresolved. As we parted, the same strange thought occurred to us.

Don’t be a Martha!

Though we weren’t clear on specifics, we both knew what The Spirit was saying. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but we were totally being a couple of Martha’s.

Since then, we’ve been seeking to understand and mend our Martha ways.  I’ve revisited her story again and again, pushing aside the fog of familiarity for fresh insight. So many questions have come to mind…

Why did Martha invite Jesus to her home? What was her motive?

Was she the only one willing to invite Him over or was she just the first to volunteer?

Did she realize Who Jesus was, Who she was serving?

How did the story end? Did she ever sit down and listen to Him?

Why is this story even mentioned in Scripture? What is it God wants us girls to take from it?

Martha is now on my Official List of Bible Characters to Meet In Heaven.

It’s been a few weeks since the “Don’t Be A Martha” memo was delivered, so I’ve by NO means learned to swim these waters–imagine me sitting on the steps wearing floaties. The lesson has just begun and frankly, it’s a bit scary.

Over the next few posts I want to share what He’s teaching me. If you’re a Martha, too, I hope you’ll hold my hand as we wade deeper into the water and ask,

Lord, what do You mean, “Don’t Be A Martha”?



5 responses »

  1. Pingback: You Might Be A Martha… | notmyownblog

  2. Pingback: Hooked On A Feeling | notmyownblog

  3. Pingback: The One Thing | notmyownblog

  4. Honestly the bulk of the problems isn’t being physically busy, but being able to empty our hearts even while sitting at His feet. Some make out a quiet time with the heart cluttered with so many mundane issues. I’m a typical example of this kind of Mary-Martha order. Mary came completely empty not having a mindset of her own, desires of her own. Meaning she didn’t come before Jesus carrying her idols in her heart as God told Ezekiel that His people do. She came to be filled with the thoughts and words of God. That was why Jesus commended her and said that which she has chosen can never be taken away from her. A heart filled with love is a heart of true service. Romans 12:1-2

    • Lilian, you are so right– the heart is the One Thing that matters! Our motives, intentions, plans–all of them begin in the heart. If you haven’t already, check out my post “The One Thing,” where the Lord showed me just that. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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