But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41–42)
There’s just something about this story that doesn’t seem fair. Martha is working hard attending to the needs of Jesus and Mary is just sitting there doing nothing. As is often the case, however, there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good…
The key to understanding this story can be found by looking carefully at the scripture passage. St. Luke describes Martha as being “distracted with much serving,” and Jesus refers to her as “anxious and troubled.” It wasn’t so much Martha’s hospitality that drew the Lord’s reprimand but her state of mind. Martha focused more on the act of serving than the person whom she was serving.
Martha was so busy that she wasn’t about to stop for anything – including spending quality time with Jesus. As a result, she became stressed out and even accused Jesus of “not caring”. Yes, the work needed to get done, but what if Martha took some time to sit with Jesus first? I can’t say for sure, but I suspect she might have been more peaceful while she worked.
This is something I struggle with every day, but I’m starting to see a clear pattern. Time spent with Jesus is never wasted. Not only does it make me more peaceful, but it generally makes me more productive. Are you feeling stressed out and overworked? Maybe now would be a good time to take a break and sit with Him for a few minutes.