Mothering, homeschooling, housekeeping, writing, working, volunteer work – all good things. They are ways in which most of us serve. Often, just when we’re expecting a pat on the back, Scripture can step on our toes. Not everything good is best and sometimes priorities get all out of whack. Sometimes, a person needs to be reminded.
Christ followers are called to more than acts of service. We are called to be servants. Yes, there is a difference. Being a servant has to do with attitude more than actions. In order to have the proper attitude, we must spend time with the master.
We have all done it. We have grumbled because someone did not adequately acknowledge our acts of service. We follow the letter, but not the spirit, of the command to serve others. During this conversation with Martha, we find that we cannot serve properly until we have spent time with the Lord. A true servant is, first and foremost, a worshiper.
If we do not put worship ahead of service, two things will happen:
- We will become distracted.
- We will become bitter.
But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” – Luke 10:40
Do you see it? Martha was distracted with much serving. If we are not people of worship, our acts of service distract us from the savior. We become distracted and then we become bitter. I’ll admit to having a little Martha in me. I’m not proud of it. Lord, don’t you see all that I’m doing? Lord, why doesn’t so-and-so have to take care of these things? Blah, blah, blah. Trust me, it’s not pretty. So, without worship, servants become distracted and bitter.
- It is the only thing necessary.
- It will not be taken away.
The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.” - Luke 10:41-42
Worship is necessary. The Lord said that Mary, the worshiper, made the right choice. Mary made the better choice. Worship ensures that our hearts are right and that the motives behind our acts of service are pure.
Let’s make sure we are making the better choice. The goal is not to be servants, but to be worshipers who serve.
Stacy Edwards (@sjedwards) is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom to four fabulous little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ. If you need her, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom.