Balance: Overcoming the 'Martha Complex'

Ever look at a teapot about ready to boil and feel as if it were the clearest picture of what was going on inside of you. So many demands and people pulling you in a dozen different directions, and all you feel is the weight and pressure to succeed in all those areas.

Do you take pride in all of the activities you're involved in, but deep down you wish you could just sit or take a nap? Do you have moments where you break down only to wipe away the tears and plow through the next thing on the agenda?

I know I have felt all these things and have been definitely guilty of the "Martha Complex" from Scripture. I personally think she gets a bad rap because someone had to prepare the meal (organic, of course), have the house in tip top shape and have the table set, fit for a king. But I'm getting off topic here. The problem is, that even if I'm accomplishing the things on my schedule, meeting everyone else's expectations and getting everyone where they need to be (relatively on time), do I end up sacrificing my health and sanity in the process?

In the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10, we see a contrast in the two sisters' interaction with Jesus. Martha is busily working to prepare a meal for Jesus and his disciples, and getting frustrated in the process, while Mary chooses to sit at Jesus' feet and learn.

After many subtle (and perhaps not so subtle) hints, Martha expresses her agitation to Jesus and demands that she get some help. Jesus gently corrects Martha and, as a result, releases her from the pressure to perform and frees her to experience the rest and peace that comes from knowing Him. Martha probably had good intentions, but allowed the pressure of the situation to overwhelm her.

She needed to realize that no one asked her to take on all that responsibility, and perhaps Jesus was saying, "Martha, relax. It will get done. I'll help you, but we have important things to discuss at the moment, and it's ok to just sit with me."

You don't have to do it all! You too have permission to just sit, be still and take care and time for yourself. Your health depends on it. If we continue to allow our need to be productive to define our worth we will miss out on the breath of air that freedom brings through Christ that takes all of that pressure away.


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