Balancing it All: A Lesson of Two Sisters
By Heather Lynn 4 Minute Read
The Christian life is all about balance. Through our relationship with Jesus, we learn to balance our personalities, emotions, and work ethic to better serve the One who created us. Jesus taught Mary and Martha this very lesson in Luke 10. From verses 38-42, we learn about the two sisters. Since the Bible never mentions their parents, we can assume they were no longer living. They were close friends of Jesus, and they opened their home to Him and His disciples. What we see from this story is that Martha tends to be the caretaker and prepares the house for its guests. Mary is the dreamer who does anything she can to get close to Jesus, but we don’t see her taking part in the house preparations. These two seem like polar opposites, and Jesus, being their close friend and Lord, knows this about the two sisters. From this story and how He responds to the two women, we can learn how to balance unity and uniqueness, complaint and compassion, work and worship.
Every person has a uniqueness about them that either allows them to worship God in their own way or keeps them from devoting themselves to the Lord. We must allow our uniqueness to bring us closer to others in perfect unity, rather than causing a divide. Martha made all the necessary preparations for the dinner, a way to show her devotion to the Lord and His disciples. Perhaps this was her personality and she enjoyed it. Mary, who seems like more of a free spirit, sat at Jesus’ feet and hung on his every word. Both women should have been able to use these personalities to worship the King: preparing Him a feast and worshipping at His feet. These two traits should enhance our fellowship and worship, but many times we allow our differences to divide and split our unity.
God longs for all of us to use our uniqueness to worship Him and show compassion for the different ways others worship; however, oftentimes we get distracted by our emotions, and we do the very thing that Martha did in verse 40: complain. Perhaps she was upset with the amount of time Mary was spending with Jesus, or how she didn’t put the same effort into the preparations. Either way, she allowed her feelings to cloud her worship of the Savior. Romans 15:7 tells us we are to accept one another in order to bring praise to God. When we respect what others bring to worship, we allow God to break down barriers, and we give in to compassion rather than complaining.
Mary had the right intentions and that led to her devotion to the Lord. Martha’s work could have worshipped Jesus, but she let her emotions replace that worship. Jesus was not dissatisfied with her work, but rather the intent of her heart as he explains in verse 42 when he tells her that she is worried and upset rather than living in the wonder of who He was as Mary was doing. She allowed the work to overshadow the worship and, therefore, wanted Jesus to reprimand her sister. We must not allow our work to replace our worship but instead worship the Lord with our work.
Balance can be challenging and takes a lifetime to achieve on our own, but when we allow God to be a part of everything in our lives, guide our actions, and focus on the intentions of our hearts rather than others, we will achieve the very thing that Jesus taught: honoring him with our worship. Open your heart and ask Him to help you balance unity and uniqueness, complaint and compassion, work and worship so you can fall at His feet in devotion.