ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Choose the Good Part

Updated on February 17, 2018
Chase Chartier profile image

Chase is a recent graduate of Azusa Pacific University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and a minor in Biblical Studies.

Putting our duties back into perspective.

Have you ever found yourself identifying with a Bible character? A certain individual resonates with you so well that the situation they're in becomes more real to you because you see yourself in that person. Some might say "I'm a Peter" or "I'm a lot like Timothy" or "I'm definitely a Jonathan, that dude was loyal" (I wonder if there's a Buzzfeed quiz on this). I'd like to think of myself as bold like Stephen or uncompromising like Daniel although I'm far from it, and it wouldn't hurt to be strong like Samson, but of all the people I have read about, none have riveted my attention in a surprising way quite like Martha.

Jesus' companion Martha is only mentioned a few times in the Gospel of Luke, but is a person whose character is similar to many Christians in our day. One important discussion between Martha and Jesus in Luke 10 reads:

38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

A few important lessons come from this passage. To start, Martha is shown preparing a meal for Jesus and presumably the twelve along with other followers. 'Hesed', meaning lovingkindness or hospitality, is huge in Jewish culture. Martha has taken a significant task upon herself and is flustered because she wants every detail to be perfect, yet Jesus rebukes her when she complains to Him. Was Martha's preparation wrong? Well, not only is her work good, but it is expected. Martha's work is a legitimate and godly form of service to her guests, but if the drive to accomplish what God desires pushes one to worry and anxiety, it can become sin. Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones says that service like this is "right and legitimate, but what the Devil does is subtly fill the mind and consciousness with these cares, these legitimate matters that they not only become a burden, but they crowd out spiritual thoughts (and) realities".

When we focus too much on ourselves in godly work, our light yoke becomes a heavy burden and our freedom to serve becomes an anxiety-filled task. What happens to us Marthas is that we begin a righteous service for the Lord, but somewhere along the way we begin to take our eyes off Jesus, the reason for our work, and focus on our intentions on whether or not we have done everything just right. The Devil slowly pushes his foot on the gas pedal of our minds until we focus only on the serving and our abilities to an excessive extent. The circumstance can become enough to paralyze us. The result is that we look like the world, distracted like Martha by the cares of this life. While our service is important, it is necessary to remember who we serve and why we serve. God is "not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else"(Acts 17:25). We don't serve because He needs us to, but because He is worthy of it. Ignoring Him in service is to ignore the source that enables us to serve in the first place.

Martha sweating the small stuff while Mary sits with Jesus.
Martha sweating the small stuff while Mary sits with Jesus.

Why We Work

The next thing Martha did was complain to Jesus, not even so much about the task but about her sister Mary who was sitting and listening to Jesus. She resented Mary for not having to take on the same task. Martha might think to herself, "I'm the one serving and Mary's doing nothing, yet I'm the one who's miserable and she's unaware of all the work to be done!" This sentiment comes from the lack of peace in one's heart about serving and the sin of unbelief that occurs when we doubt God's care for us. The lesson to be learned here is that anxiety can be amplified when we not only take our eyes off Jesus, but put them on other people. There are times when service becomes heavier than it need be, and we look at those around us and wonder why they get to be blissfully unaware of all there is to be done. The indignant feelings that arise are unwarranted. As Jesus replies, Martha realizes that her anxiety over her service is needless, since God supplies her with what she needs. Also, Jesus points to Mary as an example to Martha. She chose the 'good part', the only thing that matters in the end. She chose to sit under Jesus' teaching which is the source that fills us to serve. Martha tried to do without.

"For every look at self- take ten looks at Christ!"

— Robert Murray McCheyne

How We Work

Peter has a similar conversation with Jesus when He hints at Peter's future martyrdom. In John 21 Peter asks Jesus about John's fate, and Jesus tells him not to worry about the circumstances of others. His job was to focus on Jesus and follow Him. Peter would end up being crucified upside-down and John would be exiled. If we compare the trials we endure to those of others, it will not seem fair or make sense that some go through less than we do, if that is actually the case since we never really know all the struggles that people go through. We should be encouraged in our daily tasks knowing that Christ works everything (welcome or not) for our good.

Robert Murray McCheyne reminds us, "For every look at self—take ten looks at Christ! Live near to Jesus—and all things will appear little to you in comparison with eternal realities". When our service becomes burdensome, it's not because of the task as much as it's the perspective we have. When our eyes are off Christ, we either look at the circumstance alone or others who seem to have it better than us. Don't forget to choose the good part, and don't let the affairs of this world become anything more than heartfelt service to the Lord.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Tamarajo profile image


      13 months ago

      Good devotion Chase. I get caught up in that trap of getting project oriented rather than serving God oriented. What a mess that makes.

      I wonder if that was the deal with Moses when he got mad and struck the rock twice.

      A thoughtful read.

    • Chase Chartier profile imageAUTHOR

      Chase Chartier 

      13 months ago from Northern California

      Hi Charlie,

      I mean companion only in the sense that they were friends, nothing beyond that. Sorry for the confusion:)

    • celafoe profile image


      13 months ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

      jesus' companion??? scripture please.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)