I’m Martha When I Should Be Mary: Prioritizing Spiritual Growth Over Worldly Distractions

folding hand praying over a Bible

Many of us know the Biblical story of Martha and her sister Mary. After raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus and His disciples visited the home of Martha and Mary in Bethany.

Luke 10:38-42 (NASB)

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.‘”

Like Mary

Sometimes I am Martha when I should be Mary. Sadly, I get obsessed with getting something done. Sometimes I am like a dog after a bone trying to check things off my list (laundry, straightening the house, errands, consultant work, finishing a project, writing blog posts, posting blog posts on social media, and the list goes on and on!) I am constantly doing, thinking, planning, making, etc. It is very hard for me to sit still and “be” in the moment. Neal can vouch for this.

This only gets worse around the holidays, especially if we are preparing for company; I am consumed by shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping presents, and again the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a clean house, buying a present for a loved one, or writing a blog post. However, it is when I become obsessed with my “To Do” list at the expense of everything and everyone around me, and most importantly, when getting things marked off my list takes priority over my time with God.

More like Martha

I have to remind myself this life is about HIS will, not mine. When I get out of balance by focusing on my “To Do” list (i.e. my will), I need to stop and refocus on all my Lord and Savior did for me — and still does for me. I need to remind myself that my life on earth is about serving Him and accomplishing His will.

As we approach the Christmas Season, I am reminding myself that He is truly the reason for the season. My focus does not need to be on the cleanliness of my house, trying to find the perfect presents, or if my annual eggnog cheesecake will crack!  My priorities need to be His priorities, which include spending quality time loving on family and friends and serving Him in all I do, think, or say.

I need to be more like Mary and less like Martha!

Questions to Ponder: 

  • Am I spending my time pursuing what God wants me to do?
  • Am I obsessed like Martha with superficial things or am I more like Mary spending time and listening to Jesus (praying and reading my Bible)?
  • How can I show others the love of Jesus this season?


  1. Robin on 12/08/2018 at 5:15 AM

    Nice reminder…. We all need to take that time daily… thank you

    Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

    “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

  2. Britney on 12/08/2018 at 8:01 AM

    This is SO me! I have nervous energy that makes me feel like I have to constantly be “doing” something! I don’t “sit” well or allow myself tine to soak up anything! This list really hit home for me and it couldn’t have come at a better time! Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Sannygeway on 12/11/2018 at 10:23 PM

    Nice posts! 🙂

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