Words of Faith 8-13-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><
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 only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Control leads to another very significant problem... Martha was resentful in her service. "Lord, don't you care...?"
When we cannot control people, we often become resentful. Martha had become resentful not only of Mary but of Jesus. You may be the most wonderful servant in the kitchen but if you do not do so with a joyous heart you are of very little good to anyone.
We become resentful of people, but then we can become resentful to the Lord. "Lord, can't you see how hard I work and how lazy those other folks are? Lord, don't you care... Lord don't you see all that I am doing? Can't you see how much harder I am working? Can't you see all that I am trying to get done? Lord, what is the matter with you?"
Sometimes we grow resentful in our service and this can be very destructive. We can resent the way people treat us. Resent how God treats us. Resent that God has not noticed or lifted up or blessed us in the way we thought He should have.
It is better not to serve at all than to serve with resentment. It is a deadly poison. In one church I served, we had a Martha type lady who had served in the kitchen for years. She was always complaining that no one helped her. Because the kitchen was such a negative place no one wanted to work with her and it became a vicious cycle. It became a sad situation in which she had to finally be asked not to serve in the kitchen anymore. If we cannot serve with joy, the very gift that God has given to the Body through us may have to be taken away.
Marys can grow resentful as well! Marys can grow to resent the fact that the Marthas are making noise in the kitchen during the Bible study. Marys can be terribly resentful and judgmental. "Why didn't the others come in for my devotional or hear the guest Bible study?"
I have known pastors who served with great resentment. Resentment because they felt they were not treated right by a church. Sunday School teachers that serve with resentment can cause more damage than good. Church secretaries are the voice to the world, but if they convey resentment they poison every caller or visitor to the church. Long time faithful servants may cut the lawns and trim the hedges, but resentment can come in and the enemy gets a victory among the hardest working of the saints.
Where are you today? Are you more of a Mary or a Martha? More important, is there balance? Do you absorb the Word, content to let others serve you? You need to serve as well putting faith into action. Or are you a server that never stops to get fed in the Word? We need balance...
Are you distracted? Distracted by much serving or distracted from what is most important a relationship with Jesus? Are you distracted by much study, soaking in the Word but never putting it into action?
Are you controlling? Are you concerned with anyone but yourself? You are the only one that you can change and be responsible for. There are always those who will disappoint you if you look to be disappointed. Be responsible only for yourself. You cannot control what anyone else does.
Are you resentful? Have you let resentment and disappointment about other people creep in and interrupt your relationship with the Lord? Have you grown even to resent the Lord? You are of no use to Him no matter what you say or do if you harbor resentment.
Lord, we are frail creatures. Forgive us for twisting the gifts you give so as to exclude other gifts. Help us to see how much we need one another. Lord, give us balance that we may serve you and seek you with all of our hearts. Lord, drive out of us the distractions that drag us about. Drive out of us the need to control others. Drive out of us the resentments that stand in the way of relationships. In Jesus' name.