“Few things are needed…Mary has chosen what is better.” Lk 10:42 NIV
When Jesus visited the home of Mary and Martha, their individual responses to Him were very different. Martha’s focus was on the meal. Her aim was to please Jesus. But she made a common mistake; her work became more important than her Lord. What began as a serving experience became a self-serving one. She forgot the meal was to honor Jesus, not her. She said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (v. 40 NIV). And what did Jesus say? “Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed…Mary has chosen what is better” (vv. 41-42 NIV). And what had Mary chosen? Intimacy with Jesus! The danger of religious activity is that sometimes it’s designed to make us feel good about ourselves and look good in front of others. Choosing activity over intimacy also happens to people who love the Lord and aren’t necessarily involved in church work. It’s amazing how many bright, successful people reach the point of burnout because they have neglected their relationship with God. They never intended to; it’s just that they have learned to make it on their own and haven’t been forced to rely on Him. Or they have bought into a “religious compartmentalization” of God—like He is just another weekly appointment on Sunday mornings. The fact that Jesus chose intimacy over activity teaches us a very important lesson: Until you put your relationship with God at the center of your life, you will struggle to find your true purpose, enjoy the fruit of your labors, and experience God’s peace and joy.