|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Monday, May 02 2011 00:00|
Excerpted from Pastoring Men, Moody Publishers.
39. Loving God
Teach your men how to love God--the Great Commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (see Matthew 22:37-38). In other words, we are to love God with the totality of our being, every ounce of our energy, and the sum of our strength. We should bring an intensity to loving God.
In the story of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-41), Martha was the "good sister"--the responsible one. She is the one who took care of "all the preparations that had to be made." The Greek here for "preparations" ("serving" in KJV) is diakonia, part of the word family from which we get "deacon." Obviously, serving is a very important part of the Christian life. Martha excelled at serving.
Mary, on the other hand, was content to sit at the feet of Jesus, "listening to what he said" (Luke 10:39), or in the KJV, she "heard his word" (that's logos for "word").
Martha was in the kitchen making dinner. The text says that "Martha was distracted by all the [diakonea]" (Luke 10:40, italics added). Making dinner for Jesus seems like such an opportunity. What wouldn't you give, pay, trade, or barter for such a moment? But distractions often come disguised as opportunities.
Jesus answered, "Martha, Martha...you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her" (v. 40). For Jesus, the relationship is more important than the task. In fact, the relationship is the task.
Jesus did not say, "Come unto me and I will give you more work to do." Tell your men that it is okay just to sit and listen. "All you have to do to receive love is show up. You don't have to do something to be good enough to receive acceptance." Mary first (logos). There will be plenty of time for Martha (diakonia).
Jesus has given this as a model for how we can fulfill the Great Commandment. The way of Mary will accomplish what the way of Martha will miss.
Do you need to say to a man who is putting a lot of pressure on himself, you, and/or everyone else, "Jim, Jim, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed"? Would it improve the climate of your church to teach all your members, "Brothers, Brothers, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed"?
Patrick Morley, PhD
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