38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 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!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
Like the Discipline of Spiritual Warfare, the Discipline of Counsel is not mentioned as often as other Disciplines. It is well worth considering though. Just consider how poorly most of us handle receiving feedback or how disinclined we are to humble ourselves to learn from others. The story of Mary and Martha is a classic story that speaks to the Discipline of Counsel.
Please carefully read the passage above and answer the questions below.
- Jesus commends Mary for choosing “what is better”. What attitudes from Mary can we adopt to better practice the Discipline of Counsel?
- Do you have people in your life that you allow to provide you with the kind of counsel that Martha received from Jesus?
March 16, 2016 at 5:10 am
I’m quite sure Mary was aware there was much to done. However, she had an opportunity to do what we sometimes don’t take to do: STOP and listen to Jesus.
There are so many distractions and obligations in our daily lives that too often we allow them to steal from us the 24 hours of a day that God has blessed us with. Learning from Mary that there are times when listening to Jesus is what’s most important at any given time, will do our heart and soul good.
My pastor’s words every Sunday provides me the counsel that Martha received. I walk away from church each Sunday knowing something more from God’s word that can enrich my life throughout the week.
March 16, 2016 at 10:06 am
The troubles of the world we live in and the the issues of life that we face sometimes seems more important than the word of God, certainly not so because the word of God teaches us understanding and provides a solace for us at all times.
March 16, 2016 at 10:45 am
Mary’s position says a lot to me. She sat at the feet of Jesus. That’s a position of humility, no pride, lowliness, not being puffed up, a position of not thinking you’re too good or smarter or educated.
As someone close to me who tries to give me counsel (and I say tries ’cause sometimes I’m sitting on a really high chair ) likes to tell me, why do you take things so personal as an indictment against you, and that’s because sometimes I enter the picture sitting really HIGH UP. That’s when you’re going to miss the bigger picture if your focus is on the messenger than the message. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important who the messenger is, ’cause you can’t take counsel from just anyone. However, though messengers aren’t perfect, if you’re sitting UP there to begin with you’ll miss the food that falls. So if Mary sat UP, she could have been distracted by Jesus’s dashing looks, her thoughts could have travelled to “what’s Martha doing in the kitchen”.. It’s like bowing your head for prayer. It’s one thing to allow someone to counsel you, but a fair question would be “what posture do I hold for counselling”.
March 16, 2016 at 8:42 pm
Mary realized what was most valuable in the moment and took advantage of the time she had with Jesus. Like Martha, I often get distracted with things of less importance and fail to take opportunities that may have led to growth. Mary humbled herself. She chose to listen to Jesus instead of getting swept up by earthly demands and making things “perfect.”
March 18, 2016 at 5:28 am
I like your point Karen… not only should I make myself physically available for Godly counsel (time and focus) but also mentally and spiritually available as well, as represented by my posture.