Continuing from the things I’ve learned last Sunday (last post, Being a Believer, Being a Disciple, Being Free).
In the sermon after Sunday School, one of the things we talked about was being in ministry. Through Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42, we saw that sometimes you can get so deep into the work of ministering to people that you lose sight of the people you’re doing it for in the first place. You can get so overwhelmed that you think no one cares. You can even begin to think God Himself doesn’t care about your efforts.
Martha was ministering to, serving, Jesus and her other guests that she’d taken into her house. This was not a bad thing at all, it was a very good thing. Mary was sitting and listening to Jesus. This was not a bad thing at all, it was a very good thing. But Martha got so involved in the work that she got frustrated and asked Jesus if He even cared and to make her sister come help her. There were a few issues here, and I’ll explain them as I heard them.
As the pastor pointed out, what Martha did by interrupting Jesus would be like if I’d invited the pastor over to my house, and I was busy making biscuits while one of my sisters was sitting listening to him, then I came in and told him to tell my sister to stop being lazy and help me. As a guest he does not have the authority or responsibility to tell my sister to help me. On top of that, if I need help I can just ask my sister directly and without so much frustration.
As mentioned, sometimes we can get so bogged down we wonder if God even cares about our efforts at all. Jesus’ response to Martha’s attitude of wondering if He even cared was not, “Oh, sweetie, I do care.” As the pastor pointed out, if Jesus coddled our complaining we’d keep doing it and have a very unhealthy attitude and relationship with Him. Instead, Jesus addressed the actual problem. He wasn’t upset with Martha, He simply let her know that what Mary was doing was good and He wasn’t going to take that away from her.
The pastor also talked about how when we take on a ministry, we take on everything that comes with it. If I volunteer for a children’s ministry, I shouldn’t be complaining that now I have to work with children. If I volunteer for the bus ministry, I shouldn’t be complaining that now I have to drive this bus everywhere. We can get so caught up in the work that we forget why we’re doing it, and that often happens when we’re overwhelmed. We need to balance ministry work with sitting and listening at Jesus’ feet.
So from Martha and Mary we learn that we need balance. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t think that God doesn’t care, He certainly does care and will give you what you need. If you feel overwhelmed you can ask the people around you for help instead of complaining that no one is helping. You should ask them when you need it. Some of them might not know you need help. Take time to sit at Jesus’ feet and remember why you’re doing the work.