“But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41).

Jesus visited the house of Mary and Martha, while travelling through a village called Bethany. Now the two sisters had two different responses to Jesus visiting their house. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to his teachings. “But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part”” (Luke 10:40). Jesus’s response was perhaps not what Martha would have expected. He pointed out to her that she was troubled and anxious about many things.

“but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42). Jesus was not so concerned or impressed by Martha’s serving. It does not mean that he was not grateful to be served or impressed by her service to others. I think the concern was that Martha had not found the right balance, between serving and being served. She had not learnt how to simply sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what he was saying.

I am not blaming Martha for her actions and I assume that perhaps she was the older of the two sisters. Maybe she had been taught that she was useful only to serve. Martha had probably derived her sense of significance from being of service to others. Imagine that the Messiah was in her house and her anxiety was about serving, instead of listening to him teaching the word. Had Martha been taught that it is ok to be served by others and that it is ok to rest from her serving?

As I consider Martha’s plight, I know that many of us have been socialised to serve others. We also work in professions that are characterised by serving and giving of ourselves daily. We have to strike the balance between serving and giving so much of ourselves that we become empty. The desire to please others can cause us great anxiety and the constant pressure to perform can be exhausting. Let us learn to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what he has to say. Pray and ask God to help you to find rest to be able to choose the “better part.” “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28–30).


Published by Anneta Pinto-Young

I am a trained Social Worker who currently provides professional leadership on a programme to support Social Work students and Newly Qualified Social Workers entering the Social Work Profession. Born and raised in Jamaica in a Christian family where my father is an ordained Pastor and Deacon who has served for over 50 years in the ministry. My father is also a trained musician and our family can be described as a musical family. I grew up in a small farming community in St. Peter’s, St. Andrew and my parents also have a small farm. I credit my gift of writing to my father who I watched and listened to over the years as he wrote sermons, poems and other recitals in his capacity in ministry. English has always been an easy subject for me and over the years I have developed an increased interest in writing. I am a Trainer, I sing and have a passion for worship, the spoken word and the free flow of the prophetic anointing. I am married to my best friend Andrew Christopher Young who is an advanced Musician and whose music you can find on YouTube and Facebook. I am a trained Coach and Mentor and I love experimenting with food so I love cooking. I enjoy trying cultural dishes from across the world and I view food as an entry into cultures and languages.