Recently I've been doing a study of the New Testament. As I have worked my way through the four gospels, I continue to think back to the story of Martha and Mary. It consists of simply 5 verses:
Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
The more I think on this short story the more powerful it becomes to me. Anyone who knows me will attest that I tend to be a workaholic. As I place myself in this scene I know which person I would be: Martha.
There is nothing wrong with working, serving, and being mindful of others, but the issue here is that Martha was putting work above God. There are many good things we can do, but there is also much better. We may not all put work before God, like Martha, but we may put other things like friends, social status, money, or even ourselves. How often do we take a moment to sit down and read the word of God? How often do we ponder on Christ's sacrafice and ressurection? These are the things of eternal value -- the better part. God's love and guidance is that "which shall not be taken away" from us.