Day 115: When Serving Others Becomes a Distraction

Luke 10:38-42 :

It happened as they went on their way, he entered into a certain village, and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she came up to him, and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister left me to serve alone? Ask her therefore to help me.”

Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

This is a very important topic for those of us who serve others or are asked to serve others in church. Did you realize that it can be a sin to serve others? Jesus spells out where the boundary is in this important little story.

Luke tells us that “Martha was distracted with much serving.” We see that the kind of serving that distracts us from what is most important is not good. Sometimes we are even asked to serve in ways like this at church. I have found it very good to say “No” to serving when you know that this line is being crossed, but let’s look at what Martha was distracted from.

Mary is the good example in this story and she, evidently, wasn’t distracted. She was spending her time “at Jesus’ feet” and was hearing “his word.” So, we can see from this example that when serving others distracts us from spending time with God and His word, then that serving has become a problem. Now, we know that serving is a good thing that we all should be doing, but first we need to listen to Jesus’ and let Him serve us. We can be sure that if we put His word first, we will have what we need to serve others. Sometimes, selfish people will intentionally distract you from God, we can see here that they are wrong. Jesus will provide for our needs when we keep our priorities in order.

I just love how Jesus exposes the root of the problem. Worry is a sin in Christianity; it is not a godly trait no matter what it may seem. Jesus said that only “one thing is needed” and Jesus should know because He spent 40 days with only that one thing as we read earlier. Remember when Jesus went into the desert to be tempted, He didn’t even eat at all for 40 days. He did have the Word of God to feast on in His heart because that is what He told Satan when He was tempted by food.

The Word of God and prayer are more important than food and if you spend time with these, you will know why. This world desperately needs Jesus and it is by His Word and prayer that Jesus fills us up and is spread out to others.

Jesus said that Mary chose “the good part.” Often, our minds are crowded by many troubles and we need to separate out the good part and get rid of the rest. By choosing Jesus and the Word of God we will not be disappointed. As for Martha, the Bible doesn’t say, but I hope she stopped right there and sat down next to Mary. We need God’s help more than He needs ours. God can create water from rocks and have the birds deliver food if He wants to. We need to listen to Him.