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Quote About Dandelions

"You fight dandelions all weekend, and late Monday afternoon there they are, pert as all get out, in full and gorgeous bloom, pretty as can be, thriving as only dandelions can in the face of adversity."

-- Hal Borland

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mary vs. Martha

A while back I was sitting in the living room of a pastor's home for his weekly house-church service. Attempting to be polite, I kept offering to help get things ready. The pastor said that he didn’t think there was anything that needed doing. I replied, “But you know me, and you know I can’t sit still – I’ve got to be doing something!” He looked at me with a smile and said, “Well, then, it looks like you need to sit down and listen, Martha!”*


That was a very simple lesson, only one sentence long, but it was profound and it has changed my outlook on how I approach being helpful. I’ve discovered 4 Rules for Christ-Honoring Helpfulness:

1.     If being helpful stops you from hearing about the needs of others, you’re doing something wrong. The Lord says to listen to others and be empathetic (Romans 12:15; Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.)
2.       Don’t use being helpful as an excuse to distract yourself from a real priority. You can help yourself into sinning if you’re too busy being helpful to hear the lesson the Lord is trying to teach you. This is the lesson Mary knew and what Martha had yet to learn.
3.       Being helpful can hamper your {emotional, spiritual, and physical} health. If acts of service is your spiritual gift, then this is most definitely something to watch for. You can so easily wear yourself to the bone helping others that you neglect yourself and your family. Make a point to learn how and when to say no, and then stick to that decision.
4.       Frankly, being helpful can annoy other people and you can get in their way! “Too many cooks spoil the broth” is not just a quaint saying, it’s the truth. Sometimes, staying out of the way is more help than you could ever imagine.

I’ve not gotten this down pat yet, but I sincerely am trying to learn. Any thoughts on helping?

*Luke 10:38:42
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.”

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