“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41–42)
I think there are many of us who could replace Martha’s name with our own! How easy it is to become worried and upset. In these two verses Jesus speaks to us regarding our priorities! Yes, it does matter what we choose to focus on! Yes, it does matter how we live! Yes, it does matter that we spend time with Jesus! The Bible tells us:
Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity. (Ephesians 5:15–16)
Each day dawns brimming full of choices. Some are no brainers–most of us do not have a problem choosing between blatant right and deliberate wrong. However, oftentimes our choices are between things that are intrinsically good. Bill Bright used to say, “You know you are far along in your Christian walk when you are choosing between something good and something better or best.”
In our verses for today, Martha was choosing between serving the Master (which we are called to do) and listening to the Master (which we are also called to do).
Discerning what is required when is not easy and certainly our actions can be misunderstood. All the more reason we must know at a core level what our priorities in life are. If we do not have this set in our hearts, we will fall for the tyranny of the urgent every time. Are we making decisions against the backdrop of our priorities, or are we simply putting out fires or rushing to the loudest cry? Are our priorities God’s priorities? These are important questions to ponder.
Scripture teaches us we are not to be worried and upset about anything. Paul tells us:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)
Worry is an affront to God and shows a lack of trust in His provision. Rather than worry, we are called to pray with thanksgiving. Worry demonstrates that we somehow believe we are in control! Peace residing in a heart, particularly in dire circumstances, demonstrates our trust in a Heavenly Father who spoke the world into being.
From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth–he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. (Psalm 33:13–18)
Each day we must pray with thanksgiving and ask God to take captive our every thought and make it obedient to Jesus Christ. Sometimes this must to be repeated many times throughout the day in order to stay focused on God’s agenda. God is always faithful. His desire is for us to depend on Him. His desire is to lead us to victory.
Take It to Heart
Make a list of your priorities and then record how you spend your time, resources, and talents. Are you using your greatest gifts on your priorities? Oftentimes we espouse one thing and live another. Ask God to help you let Him prioritize your life.