The story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” 

I am a Martha. There, I’ve said it. I am definitely a Martha!

I know Mary chose the good part by sitting at the feet of Jesus (literally) but is being a Martha all that bad? No, this isn’t Mary-bashing or patting myself and the other Marthas on the back. The world needs Marys, I’m just not one of them. Somebody has to get things done. Right?

I recently took the spiritual gifts test and found that I scored high in the gift of administration, a Martha-type characteristic. That’s no surprise. I’ve taken these tests a few times over the years and it always ended the same, no matter how I hoped for a different result.

Administration — it just sounds so dry and boring, an all about work.

Despite how I felt about it, in God’s goodness, this gift of administration has served me well as a manager, project leader, and department head throughout my career in the automotive industry. Now I’m using it to manage this blog, plan a season of bible studies at church, and pursue further discipleship training as I hope to meaningfully share God’s word as the Spirit leads. For me, this is the good part.

In our current women’s bible study, Not Alone by Jenny Allen (find it at or RightNow Media), we read in today’s lesson: “Instead, he [Jesus] gently tells her [Martha] that Mary’s choice is better. He affirms her decision to spend quality time with him over checking boxes and becoming resentful of others in the process.”

This struck a chord with me because I often describe myself as a box-checking kind of person. That’s the administrator in me. Yes, I’m a Martha. I like to plan and execute and I admit that I get frustrated with people who don’t get it.

I’m learning to be more like Mary, in a Martha-like way. To slow done and enjoy the goodness of God in my life. The purpose is to share that goodness with others. I don’t feel bad about my Martha tendencies anymore. No, I won’t fight the administrator in me any longer. I found that it’s not dry or boring when it’s about His work, not mine.


Find out about your spiritual gifts and how to use them. You can take the free survey at

Go to the Table of Contents to read more posts in this series as they go live.

It’s October so this must be time for 31 Days of Five Minute Friday Free-Writes. The event is hosted by Kate Motaung over at Five Minute FridaysWe write daily for five minutes, or maybe a bit longer. The point is to write. Kate provides writers with a one-word writing prompt each day. Today the prompt PERSON

Galatians 5:22-23 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT)

The guiding verse for this series on the Fruit of the Spirit is Galatians 5:22-23, shown at the top of the page in the New Living Translation (NLT). I’ve added this info in response to a few questions I’ve gotten about the parenthetical reference NLT at the end of the verse. There are a lot of bible translations. For that reason, I’ll try to remember to note the versions I use in each blog post, here at the end.

Story of Martha and Mary is in the New American Standard Bible (NASB) translation.

Picture credit: Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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