Scriptures

When Not To Talk, Part 3

Introduction

‘As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’ Luke 10:38-42

One of the factors that prevent us from developing effective listening skills is distraction. Distractions could come from external sources through people or things around us.

They could also come from an internal source through our thoughts wandering away from important matters, or sometimes the distractive thoughts in our minds may lead us to become involved in physical actions that take us temporarily away from the Master. The latter is the case with Martha as indicated in our text. Martha was undoubtedly hospitable and this is excellent!

Firstly, she opened her home to receive Jesus. Secondly, she made preparations possibly to entertain her guest. Mary, Martha’s sister, sat at Jesus’ feet to listen to God’s word but Martha was cumbered about much serving, Luke 10:40a, KJV.

The word ‘cumbered’ used in the KJV is from the Greek: perispao which means ‘to distract with care’. The NIV version renders it thus: ‘But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made’.

The latter part of verse 40 shows that Martha’s anxiety (distraction) was so great that she complained to the Lord, expecting to pull Mary away from a more important activity (listening to God’s word) so that she could join her in her distractive course.

The Lord’s response was clear: ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her’. Luke 10:41-42.

We should not allow ourselves to be distracted from doing God’s will. Let us be encouraged to become effective in listening to God, not to be distracted by the cares of this life. The time to listen to God is the time to disallow distractions from talking through our attention to other activities.

‘Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. I wait for your salvation, LORD, and I follow your commands. I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly. I obey your precepts and your statutes, for all my ways are known to you. May my cry come before you, LORD; give me understanding according to your word. May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise. May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.’ Psalm 119:165-172

Prayer

Precious heavenly Father, we are grateful for your word which guides our walk with You. Help us to be still in your presence, ever ready to listen to You always, and to act according to your will through Christ our Lord. Amen.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God."

Acts 18:11

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