Week of August 5
Striking a Balance
By Skip Heitzig
Jesus encountered two different reactions when He visited Martha and Mary at Bethany in Luke 10. One of them was pouting, and the other was praising. Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus—the place to be—soaking in what He had to say. But Martha was thinking, “The Lord is here for dinner and I’ve got to make Him a really great meal.” And she was perturbed because Mary was just sitting there and not helping. So she pouted to Jesus. “Jesus, tell my sister to help me!”
Have you noticed that when you pout it’s difficult to worship? We’re all like that sometimes. We pout because God didn’t do what we wanted Him to do. It’s difficult to praise when you pout. And it’s difficult to pout when you praise, when your mind is focused on Him.
But we need a balance between the characteristics of Martha and those of Mary. We can get so busy that we forget to praise. But on the other hand sometimes it’s not profitable to just sit around. You may say, “I’m just waiting on God,” but it could be that God’s waiting on you! I think we need a balance between vegetating and activating!
Moses was one who worked really hard for the Lord, settling the disputes of the people. Exodus 18:13-27 tells how he worked from morning until night judging the people, and how his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, observed all this.
But Jethro wasn’t impressed. He said, “Moses, this is dumb,” or as the scripture puts it, “The thing that thou doest is not good.” He warned Moses that he was going to wear himself out, that he would get tired of listening to the people, and that they would get tired of listening to him. He advised Moses to strike a balance by getting a group of men to help shoulder the load of judging the people.
And we need to strike the balance between Mary and Martha. On one hand we can get so wound up that we forget to worship God. As the old saying goes, “If you always keep the bow bent, eventually it will break.” Some pride themselves on being workaholics, or being “serve-aholics,” but that’s not a good thing to be.
As you work hard for the Lord, remember to take time to wait on Him, sit in His presence, open His word, and just soak Him in. “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31).
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