JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Christian Examiner) — Busyness often makes us feel like we are doing something for God. Instead, God wants us to join Him in what He is already doing. One of the most famous "busy" women in the Bible was Martha. She was the "Martha Stewart" of her day. Part of her story is told in Luke 10. In this passage, we see her scurrying around because she wants everything "just right" for her guests, one of whom is Jesus.
"Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me."
I can just picture Martha in this moment - breathless (almost a snarl) with her apron tied around her waist, her hands on her hips, her toes tapping, and flour in her hair.
Jesus responds to her.
"Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."
Is Jesus telling Martha not to PLAN? Hardly! Jesus is encouraging Martha to find balance in her planning. What Jesus saw as a priority that day was not Martha's fried chicken, gravy, and immaculate table. He wanted time with Martha!
As busy Christian women (and men!), we get caught up in the false belief that we prove our worth through what we DO. Nothing we DO will make God love us more or love us less. His love is unconditional, based on who HE is! Service is an important part of our Christian walk, but when we say "yes" to all the good things, we often miss out on the BEST God has for our lives.
So how do you find balance in the busyness? How do you serve without over-commitment? How do you make time for the BEST?
- Pray. This seems so simple, but we so often act first, and pray second.
- Seek wise guidance. God has placed other believers in your life to help and mentor you. Ask a mature believer for help and guidance.
- Match your spiritual gifts and your personality type to the job. What are the abilities and natural gifts that God has given you? What type of personality do you have? If you are not a detail person, you probably don't want to lead a group or project. Consider your unique gifting!
- Look for opportunities to serve. You are never going to be fulfilled in your Christian life until you utilize your spiritual gifts. Take initiative and seek an area of service. You may have to say "no" to some other areas, but remember, you are looking for God's BEST, not just busyness.
- Serve with JOY. Colossians says "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men." Too many people serve with a negative attitude. They just want to check "serving" off of their to-do list. God calls us to serve with joy!
In the society we live in today, it is easy to take our eyes off of Jesus. It is easy to let the good things in life - and our busyness - substitute for the BEST things. Allow God to speak a word to you about balance.
"(Insert name), you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed..."
This note published by First Baptist Church Jacksonville and used with permission.