Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scripture Thursday #31 ~ Balancing Priorities

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village:
and a certain woman named 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.
Luke 10:38-42 (KJV)

It was an Easter morning two years ago that I couldn’t make up my mind what to do.  I had family arriving that would follow us home right after church.  Easter Dinner was at our house and there were preparations still to be made before their arrival.  I had a narrow window of opportunity to attend to some last minute details.  Another church was using our church building to put on the annual Easter breakfast that morning.  My husband is the pastor of the church, but it wasn’t OUR church putting it on, they were just using our church.  Surely, I wasn’t expected to attend?   In fact, they probably wouldn’t even realize I was missing.

free vintage graphic

The church is about 100 feet from our home, the Parsonage.  The parking lot started to fill up with cars.  My husband called to me as he left for the church “are you coming?”  I told him to just go ahead, I hadn’t decided yet.   In a quandary, I was torn between doing what I really knew was the right thing and what I knew I “needed” to attend to.   I couldn’t do both, and needed to make a decision.  Time was running out as the church parking lot was full now.  

I stood in front of the bathroom mirror drying my hair and in utter exasperation, called out to the Lord over the noise of the hairdryer “I don’t know what you want me to do.  What should I do???”  As soon as I had uttered those words it was as if an audible voice spoke to me and I distinctly heard “MARY AND MARTHA”.   The answer to my quandary became crystal clear.  As you can imagine, it didn’t take me long to walk the 100 feet to the church and join my husband.  I had a wonderful time, saw people I don’t get to see often, and would have missed out on an incredible blessing that morning.

Martha loved the Lord wholeheartedly but on this occasion she didn’t use the best judgment and was distracted by all that needed to be done.   Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) believed that Martha’s mistake wasn’t her serving, but rather that she allowed it to distract her attention from Jesus. Spurgeon believed that we should be Martha and Mary in one. He wrote, “We should do much service, and have much communion at the same time. For this we need great grace. It is easier to serve than to commune.”

Digital Scripture Page ~ Free for Personal Use

Work, hobbies, volunteering, helping others, even church obligations – those are all important and good things, but if we become so obsessed or busy with the tasks that it distracts us from a relationship with God, something has to change.   Sometimes, you need to say no to good things so you have room for the best things.  Join me in asking God to help us see the proper order of our daily priorities.    



  1. What a good reminder! We do have very busy lives, missing many important things typically. We MUST choose our events wisely, which does not always come easy. Thank you for the reminder :) Stoppin by from the link up :)

  2. Oh how timely...I've been allowing the things that I think MUST get done to rob me of joy. In our fair state, we simply must learn to bide our time and focus on the better portion.

  3. How often I have had to stop and re-prioritize my life, putting the most important things back at the top of the list!
    I think it's an on-going battle that we'll never be done fighting, thanks for the timely reminder today to keep "first things first!"

  4. Ha, yet again - perfect timing for this post. I've had some little *hints* here and there to remind me of this.

    I am hesitant to say this, but I KNOW that God has been telling me to take breaks every now and then, even you have mentioned it. I stopped to take some time out and go for a walk the other day (on my birthday). I sat with nature and in prayer, and it was so good for my soul! I know that it's not healthy for me to work all of the time. I have a little bit more of a breather this week and am going to make sure I spend some time getting exercise, which can be extra prayer time as well. Thanks so much for the reminder Abby! You're so awesome! :)

  5. Abby, I am delighted to host your link to this post in Scripture Sunday this week. It is a beautiful post and one which is so very relevant to all us ladies!

    Each week, I post a link on my 'favourite weekly blogger posts' page and I would love to post a link there to this post.

    I hope you don't mind?


  6. Sheila Thomas HillMay 31, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Thank you, Dear Abby! I need to rearrange MY priorities, even as I communicate! My beloved husband has waited for his pants to get hemmed (for FOREVER!, and here I sit at the key board! What is wrong with me!?! It's more fun to sit at the key board. Moving on to the sewing machine . . . Love from the Coast of Maine.... Sheila sth

  7. Thanks so much for playing along with us at Word Art Wednesday, Abby. We're always blessed to have you join with us. This post really speaks to me. I can often be the same way. I know what He wants me to do, but my flesh says otherwise. He always gives me HIS best, so why do I feel comfortable giving Him any less? Shame on me. Thanks for putting it in perspective like this. Love you, girl. I appreciate it.
    Karen L

  8. Thank You Abby for the free PDF file! AND for the reminder! It is SOOOO EASY to just barrel along & forget to slow down & give God his due time! To put Him first! :)

  9. This is so interesting! I so often struggle with this and often the Lord prompts me.....Mary or Martha! Time for the Lord is always best....other things can wait.

  10. Thank you for the excellent post, Abby. This is something that I struggle with and I think many women do, because of all we juggle. Thank you too for the link to the free pdf book. I'll definitely be reading it.

    Shelly xx

  11. Lovely post Abby and such true words!! Thanks! Beautiful graphics! xo Heather

  12. This is a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your indecision with us...and the blessings you received when you made the right choice. I truly appreciate that bit of encouragement.
    I will be asking God to help us (me) see the proper order of our (my) daily priorities. I really need to do some work in that area.

    Thank you for the link to the Mary & Martha book...I'll be reading that tonight.

  13. Thank you for another chance to link up, Abby! And thank you for sharing your inspirational words with us all--I really needed to know that someone else has been going through similar situations! :)

  14. What a wonderful devotion Abby. We all need to remember that is all God wants from us is to sit at his feet and be still at times. Everything else will work out. Thanks for the devotion.

  15. This post is so relevant. I have been seeking the direction of God in the same area over the past few months for clear direction in using each day. I decided to post less often and spend less time on the computer. So many good things are available but to know the Best things is my goal too.

    Thank you for sharing on Think on These Things!

  16. Hi Abby, it's me Martha, ahem, I mean Mrs. Smith. :) Thanks for reminding me to work on that!

  17. Abby - I have left a wee award over on my blog for you :D

    Thank you for being such a blessing to me and for all your kindness to all who visit this blog :D

    You are appreciated by the online community!

    Wendy @ ECTaS

  18. It's hard to balance being Martha and Mary! I find that the most important thing for me is to start out my day with connecting to God. So it's first on my agenda when I wake in the morning, even before I get out of bed. Patsy from

  19. Abby...Loved this reminder of not letting other things, activities, etc. draw us away from thinking on Jesus. Its so easy to let happen but we must be on guard. Thank for the encouragement and for sharing it at WJIM. I love visiting here. :o)

  20. Hi Abby and am back again - have just don this post over the weekend and it occurred to me I should link it over.. I do love your Mary and Martha true we need the race of both in our lives we need to serve and worship - and to have the balance is so important as I grow older in the LORD I constantly remind myself how important it is - so easy to slip into bad habits.. have done a text of the verse featured of my post but too poor to share - but may try and fiddle with the rather old photo - scanned it and looked terrible so did a quick digital one, as the word is more important than the format.. love in Him, Shaz in oz.x

  21. I came over at the recommendation of Wendy @ ECTaS! ... I'm glad I did. You radiate Christ in this place.

    - Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus


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