Worth :: Five Minute Friday {www.boldlytanya.com}

It is Friday! That means it is time for Five Minute Friday, the part of the week when I free write for five minutes and post it online for the world to see (if they chose to look). Today’s word is WORTH. My free write lies between the slashes (//).

“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42 NLT emphasis mine).
Full disclosure: Tonight, I sit in the dark on my bed, laptop balanced on my folded legs, typing along to the rhythm of my husband’s soft breath. I won’t set the timer. I don’t want to wake him. So fasten your seatbelts. This scripture has me fired up.
Tonight, we visit Mary and Martha. I believe this is required reading for all Christian women. At some point in our lives, we have all been indoctrinated into the ways of these two women. We’ve debated over the merit of one while identifying with the need of the other. We have prayed to be like Mary knowing the Martha in us will always be asking, “Why does she get to do nothing while I do all the work? I sure wish I had the luxury to sit at the feet of Jesus all dang day, but I don’t. I have to ___________________.”
To answer that questions, we need to look at Martha’s sin. The KJV reads, “Martha was cumbered by much serving…” (v. 40a). She was burdened. Over occupied. Distracted. (I think it is worth noting the only time this particular verb is used in the Bible is about Martha right now.)
But serving is good! Shouldn’t we busy ourselves in service?
Jesus says no. Marth’s sin wasn’t serving. It was the distraction. Trying to do too much kept her from the company of Christ.
Ouch. Does that hurt you as much as it hurts me?
How do you balance your worldly duties with your devotion to Christ? I think the answer lies in worth or rather, what is worthy. Again, referencing the KJV, we see Christ admonishing Martha by saying, “But one thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part” (v. 42a). The Greek word used for “needed” is cheria (G5532). It means such things as we need for sustenance or the journey ahead. Is this cheria? Is the service I have set myself to required for sustenance?
Often, like Martha, we want to be the best. We want to offer the best accommodations, serve the best food, and be the best hostess. But what is our goal? Are we feeding our pride? What if we just offered enough, sandwiches instead of a seven-course meal, and then used the rest of the time to sit at the feet of Jesus and take in everything he wants to give us? What do we have to give him anyway? Do we think extra service will win us extra salvation or justify us more than someone else?
Jesus demonstrated his love for Martha and her family. He chose them. He visited them often and they are referenced multiple times in scriptures. But still, that wasn’t enough for Martha. She wanted to do more, to be more, to give more to Jesus. But Jesus just wanted to be with her.
Are we too distracted with doing more, being more, and giving more? Are we missing the opportunity to sit at Christ’s feet?
Of course, we have a duty to our family, our neighbors, our church, and our God, but if we are not filling our head and hearts with cheria, how can we serve others? If we don’t have what is necessary to sustain us, how can we sustain others?
We can run ourselves ragged and complain about others’ lack of ambition or low standards, but that isn’t good. It isn’t going to sustain us. Instead, let us take in what Christ wants to give us before we give ourselves to others.

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