Thursday, June 15

Martha, Martha

In Brian Habig’s final message at RUF Summer Conference, he read this quote from a book called Between Walden and the Whirlwind by Jean M. Fleming.
In the twenty-some years I’ve been a Christian, I’ve received instruction on and been challenged to read my Bible daily, pray without ceasing, do in-depth Bible study regularly, memorize scripture, meditate day and night, fellowship with other believers, always be ready to give an answer to the questioning unbeliever, give to missions and to the poor, work as unto the Lord, use my time judiciously, give thanks in all circumstances, serve the body using my gifts to edify others, keep a clean house as a testimony, practice gracious hospitality, submit to my husband, love and train my children, disciple other women, manage finances as a good steward, involve myself in school and community activities, develop and maintain non-Christian friendships, stimulate my mind with careful reading, improve my health through diet and exercise, color coordinate my wardrobe, watch my posture, and “simplify my life by baking my own bread.”
Those of us with perfectionist natures know just what she means. I have wondered the same thing many times (minus the husband and kids part): How in the world can I do all of this and do it well? It is easy to compare ourselves against the strengths of others and feel that we're not measuring up. Habig went on to preach on Jesus' visit to Mary and Martha's house in Luke 10. He pointed out something that I'd not thought of: how countercultural it was for Mary to sit at the rabbi's feet and learn from him. Meanwhile, Martha, who truly does believe Jesus is the Christ, is feeling the pressure to meet a standard of hospitality. But where did the pressure come from? Jesus didn't create it. It's in her own head, coming from a cultural expectation. The only thing that will make the voices of perfectionism stop, Brian Habig says, is knowing that all your doing put Jesus on the cross, and that the cloak of his righteousness is on you instead.

Listen to it here.

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