Posted by: bellebelle | January 7, 2008

Martha or Mary?

Luke 10:38-42

At the Home of Martha and Mary

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.
39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.
40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,
42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

do not be surprised, i am Martha.

honestly speaking, i am discouraged. and i know when i am… very likely i will be insecure, hold back, afraid of making radical and bold decisions, keep things to my own, afraid of being hurt, easily worried, and even, withdraw myself from the crowd, self-focused.

in verse 40, it is said that Mary has left Martha to do the preparations by herself. it is not that Mary isn’t doing anything to welcome Jesus’ visit, but Mary put aside her works and listened to Jesus. compared to Martha… Mary sees from a different perspective, she focused on the better.

now, do not get me wrong. it is not that Martha is an ugly woman who couldn’t differentiate what’s better. she is, a faithful one. when she knows Jesus and his disciples are coming to the village where she stays, she immediately provided shelter for them to rest.

just like any of us who’s gonna open our homes to host visitors, we will definitely be busy preparing, cleaning the house, cooking meals… before our visitors come, we will certainly do as much as we can. so as for Martha, she just wanted to be hospitable and give Jesus the warmest welcome. she is a faithful servant and a wonderful hostess.

why do i mention that i am Martha?

i am like her, easily worried and often distracted. despite being discouraged and knew that something is going wrong, i do not chill but kept running and pushing myself to the limits. eventually i ran off-track, i am no longer clear of the reasons that i run, my finishing line isn’t clear to me anymore. what more, i put high expectations and do not give myself a break. Martha too, serve and serve and serve, but eventually lose track of the meaning of being a servant of God.

perhaps, Martha and i. we are perfectionists. we wanted things to go moving like how we have imagined it to be. straight to the point, we do things… OUR way. she served on her own. but put it this way, if she’s able to do it together with Mary, or perhaps… discuss about what should be done, and what should be taken care of, she would have saved all the hassles.

actually, i envy Martha. she’s able to speak out what she have in her heart & mind. even though it seemed to be more of lodging complains. at the end of the day, she might be rebuked for what she have been thinking or what she have said, but i guess… she’s ready for it, and i see that she would have changed after listening to the truth.

i thought i am by nature, easy going. but i do not see myself being a conflict avoider. i rarely complain. inside my heart, i think “nah, it’s alright.” it stacks and stacks into a pile of unseen bitterness. “Why are they taking me for granted?“, “Why am i always the punching bag?” i started to have victim mentality.

i am amazed by how honest Martha could be. then, after much thoughts, i am shameful of how reserved i could be. i can go on and on, to condemn myself for being reserved and stubborn and self-pity and good-for-nothing. but i can too, see things from another perspective. transforming my worldly sorrow into a Godly one.

perhaps i do not get what i wanted, or receive what i deserved. that doesn’t go parallel to what i can give. yes, despite me being discouraged, i can give continually. it is not yet the end of the world, i have no reasons to not love the people that i love.

i have certainly no reasons to say “i am discouraged, so how? i stopped giving.” instead i say “i am discouraged, so what? i can still give.” it is also applicable to “i am not loved, that doesn’t mean i can’t love anymore.

i am not a Martha who thinks she’s Mary. but i am Martha who knows i can be Mary.

i am Martha. if God wants me to have the humble attitude like Mary, i’d be like Mary. simply because i know it is worth changing my perspective for God. i know it’s hard but my heart is warmed, because i know God loves me for who i am, even if i am like Martha.



  1. Buddy thanks for that awesome openess. Thanks for the sharing. Totally understands how you feel and remember what are you doing and helping all these thing for? Is for GOD or for yourself. That help me alot when i do thing in church and for brothers and sisters. GOD is in you always

  2. =’)

    hey shawn, thanks.

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