By: Robin Houde
Do you ever find yourself striving to please others? As a woman I have often postponed spending time with God in order to take care of or do something for someone else.
The bible is filled with stories of women who went against what was thought to be acceptable behavior. These women challenged societal standards as they followed Jesus. Mary of Bethany had a desire to know more about Jesus. She sat at his feet to listen to His word and ignored her chores. When her sister, Martha came into the room to fetch her and scold her for not helping out in the kitchen, Jesus pretty much told Martha that she worried too much.
Luke 10:40 -42 (NKJV)- Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chose that good part, which will not be taken away from her."
Martha was the type of woman who showed her loved for others by serving. Mary however, showed her love and devotion to Jesus by sitting at his feet, listening and learning.
As Mary drank in Jesus' living water, her sister was fretting about getting dinner on the table and cleaning up the mess. It was Martha's natural desire to make sure that everyone else's needs were met but deep in her heart she was becoming frustrated and discouraged. She seemed to feel like Jesus didn't care about her either. How many of us go through life acting and feeling just like Martha? We get so caught up with making sure the needs of others are met that we end up feeling disappointed and alone. When we don't put our trust in God, we become frustrated and stressed out about how many tasks we need to complete.
Think about the last time you flew on an airplane. As you were getting ready for takeoff the airline staff most likely went through some sort of safety briefing with the passengers. Part of it would have been demonstrating how to buckle your seatbelt and put on your air mask. They always say to put your own air mask on first, then assist others with theirs. This is because we need to have breath in our own lungs in order to help others breathe. We, as believers, have the breath of God in our lungs. If we allow ourselves to soak in God's refreshing word of truth, and if we allow Him to fill us with His Holy Spirit on a regular basis, we'll be so much more equipped to 'save' others.
God wants you to know that your desire to serve others is important and valuable, however, knowing Him and being in His awesome presence should take priority over everything else.
Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) - But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.