As similar as we are, we also have our differences.
There is a part of me that has always wanted to be like her. Even when we were young. She’s smart and silly, easy-going but grounded. She connects easily with people – ask our circle of girlfriends and they will tell you that Binu is their closest friend.
Growing up with a sister so close in age can stir up a lot of comparisons.
There’s a pair of sisters in scripture who had a little comparison thing going too: Mary and Martha.
You know the story. Martha invites Jesus over. Martha starts working. Mary starts sitting. Martha starts complaining.
Martha was the distracted, busy one. Mary was the one who “chose the better thing.”
Jesus commended Mary but called Martha out.
I’ll be honest – I can relate way more to Martha. Anyone else?
Fast forward a bit. It’s the same scene – take 2. What will Martha do this time when Jesus comes over?
John 12:1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, the hometown of Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 So they hosted a dinner for Jesus there. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of expensive perfume, made of pure nard, and anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair.
Oh, come on Martha! Didn’t you learn anything the last time?
This is a well known passage because of what Mary did. There have even been songs written about it. Then, there’s poor Martha…just being the same old Martha.
Or was she?
Something had changed. This time, she wasn’t complaining.
In fact, the word “served” in the Greek means, “caring for the needs of others as the Lord guides in an active, practical way.”
During Jesus’ first visit, Martha was distracted because she was focused on her sister. This time, Martha was focused on Jesus. She was caring for Him in a way that she was designed to.
Just days before His crucifixion, both sisters had this opportunity to be with Jesus. It may have been in different ways but they both served Him.
Jeremiah 1:5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you….”
All of us Martha’s need Mary moments but that doesn’t mean we have to deny how He made us.
I can spend a lot of time wishing I was like someone else and working hard to be that particular way. But there is so much freedom in knowing that God knew me before He formed me…and He kept me this way regardless.
He knew that messy closets would drive me crazy and that file folders, bins and baskets would make me happy. He also knew I’d be a bit serious and intense…but it all could be used to serve Him in my own unique way.
How has He wired you? Strive for growth but embrace who God made you to be. The world needs Marys and Marthas and me and you. ~Anu