Confession time. I am a class-A people pleaser. For real. If it weren’t for my awesome-sauce husband and friends, I would be locked into horrid pyramid schemes, or battered from trying to complete a never-ending to-do list.
My anxiety manifests into multiple outlets where it shouldn’t—like how my house is staged, the way I look, etc. I then let that frustration boil over onto those I love and cause them distress.
The Bible gives a great story about this issue, found in Luke 10:38-42 (New International version). Mary and Martha were sisters who had different agendas. While Mary sat still, listening to every word from Jesus’s mouth, Martha was in a tizzy trying to get all the hosting duties done. What’s worse is that she was getting frustrated that Mary was not helping.
I can imagine Martha preparing the food and setting the table, in a huff. I mean, if she was anything like me, she probably built up lies in her head like “Well, Mary is just lazy.” or “She doesn’t care.” Suddenly, her frustration rose to her boiling point, so much so that she had the nerve to call her out in front of the Messiah.
Ouch. Way to make things awkward, girl.
In response to this, Jesus calmly reminded Martha that Mary’s thoughts and actions were focused on what truly mattered, and He wasn’t going to take her away from it. In verses 41 and 42, He says explicitly, “…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed, only one…” In layman’s terms, Jesus told Martha to take a chill pill, slow down, and listen.
The will of God was not contingent on the presentation of the silverware or sheep snack bites (totally made that one up on the spot, there).
As much as I like to think I’d be a Mary, all chill, relaxed, and savoring the aroma of my life, I’m reminded that I’m not...in any way, shape, form, or kind. Truth be told, I’m a total worrywart and a panicker. My internal thoughts go to the worst before I even have a chance to take in a new breath. I’m so focused on how everyone else will see me, and myself, that I pass over the most precious things I’m called to do and notice.
I hear you naysayers out there. “Well, Mary did kinda’ leave her high and dry.” Um, no. Jesus would have said something had that have been the case. He calls it as He knows it! Mary was not in any way lazy or not compassionate toward her sister. She was disciplined in knowing when not to worry. She knew when she needed to work, and when she needed to slow down. What a valuable lesson!
In our generation, we are so quick to make sure someone is on our side. We are so quick to seek harmony that we forget the truth. We compromise so much of ourselves, and our beliefs, that we find ourselves gaining the world and losing our soul (Matthew 16:26). That’s not a good thing, girl.
Life is not about making sure our homes look like a Joanna Gaines-custom-design. Our lives are not about making sure we are buddy-buddy with anyone and everyone. It’s about inviting The King of Kings into our hearts and lives and letting Him be the Lord of our life.
It’s about building His kingdom so that we can hear “Well done, faithful servant.”
Friend, I know you may feel panicked about the things around you, but guess what? You don’t have to worry, because God is in control. John 15:19 says:
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
Meaning, we are not here to please and be adored by everyone who walks this Earth. We are called to a higher purpose, and our hearts should desire God’s presence.
So, exit out of Pinterest and stop scrolling through the endless list of pictures from influencer Instagram pages.
Sit, breathe, and soak in what God has before you in your own life.
By Ashley Dillard