Personal Assessment

How Emotionally Healthy Are You?
Take a free 15 minute personal assessment now!

*We respect your privacy by not sharing or selling your email address.

Personal Assessment

LIVE WEBINAR with Pete Scazzero! January 19th @ 2pm ET

DISCOVER the Emotionally Healthy Discipleship Course

Discover POWERFUL resources to help you launch the Emotionally Healthy Discipleship Course in your church.

Explore the Leaders' Training Vault

MASTERCLASS REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

Expand your theology and practice in our 4-hour MASTERCLASS with Pete Scazzero and Drew Hyun

NEW TRAINING AVAILABLE!

Craft a Rule of Life

FREE downloads to help you and your team cultivate healthy rhythms together

Free eBook from Pete Scazzero!

Close
14
Oct

The Hardest Task of a Leader

Posted on October 14th, 2015

In this famous story from Luke 10:38-42, we find Martha working to provide the meal for Jesus to eat and Mary sitting at His feet listening to what He has to say. Like us, Martha complains about her workload. Nonetheless, Jesus defends Mary’s act of preference. Every generation of leaders since the first century has written about this passage.

Consider Johannes Vermeer’s (1632-1675) painting:

mary and martha

I recently reread Thomas Merton’s comments on the Mary/Martha tensions in his address to monks in his book Contemplation in a World of Action (pp.244-250).

Allow me to summarize a few of his insights here:

  • The conflict of Mary and Martha is in ourselves.  Having sufficient time with Jesus to sustain our doing for Him is, perhaps, the primary tension of every leader. You are not alone.
  • The Holy Spirit invites us to prefer “the apparent uselessness, unproductivity, and inactivity of simply sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to Him. We are called to prefer this over an apparently more productive, more active, more busy life.”
  • Our act of preference to sit at Jesus’ feet is a protest and defiance against our culture that says a person’s worth and value is in “getting things done.” We affirm there is something else that is more important. This will never be fully explainable to other people.
  • We renounce the goodness of benefits and advantages that characterize an overly-active life for something else which is better for us. We accept restrictions and sacrifices in order to grow in the inner freedom Mary models here.
  • We are called to a life of direct communion with and dependence upon Jesus. This requires purification by God in silence, prayer, solitude, and detachment.
  • We recognize that time in silence and listening is often painful, difficult, full of hardship, and demanding. Learning to be attentive to Jesus is a challenging discipline to sustain long-term.

Put yourself in the painting. Who do you identify with at this moment? If you were Martha what would be in your basket – what are the preoccupations of your life, the “so many things” that worry and bother you, and that lead you to avoid stillness before God?

 

Share This Post:
Download + Subscribe
Church Culture Revolution: A 6-Part Vision That Deeply Changes Lives