Setting Aside the Good to Make Time for the Best
Earlier this year I started researching single women of the Bible. You can read more about why I started researching here.
Today I’m talking about Mary. Not Mary the mother of Jesus, but Martha’s sister Mary. A few weeks ago I did a blog post about Martha which you can read here, and today I’m focusing on Mary.
When the story of Mary and Martha opens in Luke 10 we find Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to his teaching.
Martha is not happy that her sister is sitting listening to Jesus. It’s not that she doesn’t think Mary should be listening to Jesus, but Martha was throwing a party and had a million things to get ready. She felt upset that her sister was skipping out on all the preparations and was just sitting listening to Jesus.
I’ve always felt like I identified more with Martha than Mary. After all Martha was just trying to keep the house running and entertain her guests. She had stuff to do!
However, I think Mary really had it right. She understood what was most important. She knew that Jesus wouldn’t always be with them and she wanted to soak in every minute with him that she could. Mary wasn’t trying to get out of work, or be lazy, she was simply trying to fill herself with the best things.
In Luke 10:42 Jesus tells Martha that Mary has chosen what is better and that it will not be taken from her.
One of my goals for this year is to read through the entire Bible in a year. I’ve started out on this goal with good intentions many times, but somehow other things always seem to come up and throw me off track. Why do I always have such a hard time making time for God in my life?
I think it’s because I struggle to distinguish the good things from the best things. Distinguishing the good from bad things is pretty simple. It’s obvious that if you spend so much time drinking at the bar that you don’t have time to do your devotions, that you need to change your priorities.
Things get a lot tougher when you’re trying to figure out the best ways to use your time. What if you spend so much time volunteering at church that you don’t have time to consistently spend personal time with God? That leads to a much trickier situation. It’s not wrong to volunteer, the Bible commands us to be involved in a church community, but we have to be sure that we are making time for the best thing, Jesus himself, and not just filling our time with lots of good things.
Mary understood what was best. While it would have been good for her to help her sister in the kitchen, she knew that it was better to spend time with Jesus, learning from him.
Jesus wants you to be close to him!
In ancient cultures, women weren’t always thought of highly, and often weren’t given the same educational opportunities as men. Jesus didn’t let these opinions on women affect him. He was happy that Mary wanted to spend time with him and learn from him. Jesus wants you to spend time with him too and learn from his word!
Mary didn’t let the business of life distract her from the most important things. In our busy world there’s just so many things to do, so many things that we can get involved in. It’s important to make sure that your relationship with Jesus has a priority in your life. I struggle with this so much. There just always seems to be so much to do.
As a single woman I realize that I have way more time than a lot of other women. Because of this I feel like it’s really important to make time with the Lord a priority in my life right now. If I can’t fit devotions into my daily life when it’s just me and I don’t have a husband or children to think about, I’m not going to magically have time later when life is busier!
Here’s a few tips if you’re having trouble making time for personal time with God in your day:
Start Small - You don’t have to start with an in depth Bible study. It’s easy for to get overwhelmed if you dive right in to something huge. Reading through the Bible in a year is a huge goal. If you haven’t been consistently spending time in God’s word, it will probably be better to start a little smaller. There’s lots of great studies out there that shorter and meant to be completed over a month or two.
Don’t Get Discouraged - It’s OK if it takes you two or three months to get through a devotional that was only meant to take a month! God is not looking for perfection! The more you make time for God’s work the easier it will get. It’s a lot like going to the gym. It’s really hard at first to drag yourself to the gym, but once you get in the habit or working out it gets easier. Eventually, it’s just part of your routine and you don’t even think twice about it.
Ask for Help - Be sure to ask for help and encouragement, not only from those around you but also from God. If you are having trouble finding the desire to spend time with God, pray and ask him to give you a desire for his word, and a desire to know him more. It’s also helpful to have a friend or someone at church who can ask you how things are going and encourage you!
I hope this was helpful and encourages you to make time for the BEST things this year!