View of Work
Are you consumed with your work? Have you ever been given this advice? ‘Work smarter, not harder’, ‘Delegate’, ‘Learn to say NO’ or ‘Take a spa day’. It’s not that there is a problem with work; it is our view of work that gets us into trouble.
Martha is the woman I most relate to in the Bible. Are you like Martha? Workaholic, more like Multitaskaholic, looking for significance, and feeling like you are doing it all alone? Martha is a leader, not a follower. She is the one who makes things happen. Martha’s story is one like many of us as women: mothers, daughters, business owners, caregivers, carpoolers, party-planners, . . . you get the picture.
When we first meet her she has Jesus in her living room and she is worried about being the perfect hostess. Instead of being present and mindful in the moment she has been given and making a connection with Jesus, she is trying to earn her way into Jesus’ heart (through His stomach). By ‘doing’ things for Him, she does not realize her work is cutting her off from the one relationship she wants most.
The Bible doesn’t tell us how many times Jesus stopped at Martha’s home during His three years of ministry; I would have to imagine it was more often than we know. How else could she feel comfortable enough with Him to stop the action in the living room and complain about her sister’s lack of help?
Martha’s overwhelm comes from trying to do it all alone. She has the right idea bringing it to the attention of Jesus, but she doesn’t get the answer she expected. Instead she gets a wake-up call to what is real.
Each of us has many responsibilities and at times not enough hours in the day. We also have our meltdowns, like Martha. God never intends for you to carry everything without Him (Matthew 11:28-29). In fact, He promises rest for your soul.
The last time we glimpse into Martha’s story is when her brother, Lazarus, has fallen ill and she sends for Jesus (she is keeping close tabs on him and knows where he is). Jesus arrives too late and Lazarus dies. Again, Martha is entertaining important townspeople, working hard to serve those who have come to pay their respects.
BUT, she hears that Jesus is coming down the road and runs to meet him. She is no longer fussing over the work that must be done. She knows ‘this is the better’ and goes to meet Jesus.
By being in relationship with Jesus she can’t help to have changed from the inside out. Her personality is still bold; she is still organizing events and running her household. But, by being touched by Jesus she has been given a new way of looking at her work.
Is there a difference between the sacred and the secular? Martha shows us there is not. As she leads her household she has many responsibilities. She is never asked to give that up as she follows Christ. Her work serves the kingdom and is God-given. It is necessary work to fulfill God’s plan for her and to bring Him glory. Jesus wants Martha’s heart but never tells her to separate her work-life from her faith-life. He wants her work to have purpose and meaning. He wants that for you too.
Each day as we plan our activities we must focus on three things: Required, Return, Reward. What is required of me today, what activities give me a return on my investment (not always financial), and what is the reward for being involved in what I am doing. Seeing the activities of your entire life, specifically your work, as a way to give God glory is the starting point.
Martha learned that her faith-life and her work-life were intertwined. That she could do her work and show God’s glory through it. He has placed you in the marketplace to do this also.
How is God changing your view of work and faith? Get on the LIST for the next Calling Clarity Course (just say, “put me on the list”) that will give you the tools to connect your faith and business.
Be filled to overflowing,