Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 3, 2019
Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her. Luke 10:41-42
My kids are remarkably talented at multitasking. In addition to doing whatever it is that I’ve asked them to do, they are also able to keep close tabs on their siblings, letting me know any time their brother or sister is failing to do their job as well. Though I’m “impressed” by their attentiveness, I always respond with some version of “just focus on what I asked you to do.”
While this talent may take different forms as we age, Martha and Mary remind us that this impulse to keep tabs on others remains well into adulthood. Like a kind and patient parent, Jesus tenderly calls Martha out for being “worried and upset about many things.” Contrary to many popular reads of this story, Jesus isn’t upset with Martha for her active service and preparation, which is a good and faithful thing. He’s upset with the way she was also trying to manage the faithfulness of her sister!
Do you find yourself overly concerned with the spiritual life and faithfulness of others? Do you feel it is your duty to remind them of their duty before the Lord? Do you take the position of arbiter and judge, deciding on behalf of others whether or not they are in the right? This is quite different than a healthy form of accountability in which we remind one another of our shared devotion and commitment to Christ, encouraging by example faithfulness to Jesus and fidelity to his Kingdom.
Jesus wants us to remember that our primary responsibility before God is our own walk with the Lord and following his lead with integrity, character, and virtue. Jesus wants our hearts fully focused on him and our hands and feet given to the work he’s called us to do. We must daily resist the urge to also judge and size people up on our left and right, wondering if they’re also doing what they’ve been asked to do.
When tempted in this way, I often return to the ancient “Jesus Prayer,” which reminds us of our need for God’s mercy and grace as we seek to follow him with a heart of singular devotion and focus: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Life is too short to spend it focused on the success or failures of others. Cultivate a heart of undivided devotion to Jesus and “rejoice that your name is written in heaven” (Luke 10:21).
Father, give me an undivided and undistracted heart, focused fully on the life you have called me to live in humility, joy, and love. Amen.
Where has comparison or a judgmental spirit crept into your heart?
Jesus wants our hearts fully focused on him and our hands and feet given to the work he’s called us to do. #onething #wisdomhunters #Jesus
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