READ: Luke 10:3842
“But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Distractions are everywhere waiting to capture your attention. They come in many forms, some more recognizable than others. One thing they all have in common is their ability to detract from your listening. Distractions in today’s world play a major role in keeping us from listening deeply to God’s Word.
We face two kinds of distractions daily: internal and external. Internal distractions are in the mind; external distractions are things in your environment. A ringing cell phone, people’s loud conversations, or a barking dog are all external distractions. Internal distractions include daydreaming, jumping to conclusions about what a speaker is saying and emotions such as joy, sadness, and anxiety.
In these verses Martha is struggling with internal and external distractions. She is busy serving her guests (external) while at the same time dealing with anger (internal) because her sister is not helping her. While we can learn much from Martha’s actions, an important lesson for us comes from Mary.
What Mary teaches us, in addition to sitting at the feet of Jesus, is the fact that she has learned how to deal with distractions. She understands what they are and applies a controlled focus. In other words, she is not able to control the fact that Martha is distracted. However, she has learned how to control the way she responds to these types of distractions. With self-discipline and help from the Holy Spirit, we can discover our own method of controlling distractions and sit at the feet of Jesus eager to hear what He has to say.
There is a passage from 2 Timothy that dovetails nicely into our Luke passages: “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” Remember, there are things you want to hear that are not good for you, just like there are things that you wish to eat that are not good for you. The itching ear has turned away from the truth. Pray to God just like Solomon: “Give to your servant a heart that is listening and discerning.” Bind this adage to your heart: “Being listened to is so close to being loved, that most people can’t tell the difference.”
(Excerpts from “Be Quick to Listen”)