Discernment, Prioritizing your life, Quiet and Listening to God

Are you too busy for God? Take the Martha and Mary Test

too-busy-for-god

Busyness can be a healthy and beautiful thing if we are called to it, but that the moment it takes us away from Christ and the peace he wants to offer us, then our busyness is no longer godly.

Is your busyness of God, or distracting you from Him?

Martha was just trying to be welcoming, hospitable and caring

As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him – Lk 10:38.

but Christ wasn’t asking her to do everything that she was trying to accomplish.  He came to their house, not to be served but to BE with them.

Take a moment to reflect on your life and your level of “busy-ness” using these “diagnostic questions” from the scene of Martha and Mary in the Gospel (Luke 10:38-42).

Martha and Mary Test

Martha Diagnostic Questions:

Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” (Luke 10:40)

  • Am I blaming other people for my busyness? Am I blaming God?

(It’s different to feel called to something and be doing it, in which case your busyness would be “God’s fault”.)  Are you blaming Him in a resentful way for piling too much on you and not giving you enough help?

If your answer is yes, you should probably rethink your motives behind what you are doing.

The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. (Luke 10:41)

Some stress is natural but anxiety is another level that can lead to the discernment of unhealthy levels of busyness.  If I took something off my plate, would I be able to breathe better?

  • Christ did not ask Martha to do everything she was trying to accomplish. Do I truly feel “Sent by the master”, really called to do what I am doing or is it something I just chose for myself?

If you say you chose it for yourself, it’s not necessarily a bad sign but in combination with other questionable answers, it could be a telling sign.

  • Am I expecting thanks? Success? Praise? Pay?

If I am expecting something in return as the reason I do what I do then in all likelihood, my intentions are not pure. Merely receiving due recompense for a job I feel called to do is not the same.  Do I do the job for the pay?  Or is the pay just a happy positive outcome that results from my doing something I would do otherwise?

Is my work more important than God or is God the source of my work

Mary Diagnostic Questions:

There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:42)

This is the part where we learn to sit at Christ’s feet and BE with Him, since that’s what He came to do with us

  • How about Morning Prayer? Am I getting that in? Prayer beyond that? Do I spend approximately an hour in prayer, reflection and/or peaceful silence with the Lord on a daily basis (or more)? (If not, our busyness is likely taking us away from the feet of the Lord)
  • Is Sunday truly a day of rest and resurrection? Do I truly rest on Sundays and spend them with the Lord or do I spend them stressing about the rest of the week? If so, you may need to take a step back.

On the other hand, the opposite problem, not doing enough, is also very real.

Sometimes we have no idea what we are capable of until we try. Often we make lists of all the reasons we should not do things… not enough money, not enough time, not enough help, too much work, not enough compensation. In a word, not enough “in it for me”. God might be calling you to participate in a ministry at your church. He might be calling you to adopt a child. He might be calling you to give a little more of your income to His work. Whatever it is, He definitely isn’t calling you to waste your time, energy or resources, but rather to learn how to spend them wisely.

The book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend is also fantastic resource for those of us who struggle with trying to mother everyone all the time and end up burning ourselves out. It puts a Christian perspective on how much is too much and why it is ok NOT to do everything we are presented with.

So, what is He asking from you? God might be asking more of you than you feel comfortable giving, or asking you to step back from some of the things that are distracting you from Him. What we don’t know is how much peace will flood our lives when find the balance.


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Read also: 17 Simple Ways to Make more Time for God in your Busy Life

carolynpereira1311@hotmail.com

1 Comment

  1. Rita Davis

    I love god’s sense of humor, i was born on the feast of st. martha! i have been constantly aware of the pull between martha to mary, my whole life. don’t know why because the mary is much sweeter! but we need martha to get tings done for the kingdom.

    19 . 02 . 2017

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