Listen, Stop, Look

DECEMBER 5TH, 2021      |      Whenever we read the story in Luke about Martha and Mary, we either identify with one or the other. I used to think if the Marys in the world would help out more, us Marthas wouldn’t get so upset. However, after studying this portion of Scripture, I discovered a truth behind the scenes that applies to all of our lives.

Martha was busy making sure everything was perfect. Her motive might have been right, but her method was skewed. Jesus listened to Martha’s complaint—He truly listened. He stopped everything He was doing and focused on her. Then He looked beyond her behavior to her frustrations. He saw the pain behind her actions; and with love, He guided her to see what was really important or truly needed.

We are often on our cell phones responding to everyone except those two feet from us. What if we focused on the three steps Jesus took with Martha? Listen: focus on the other person, not our reply. Stop: cease from all other activity, no multitasking. Look: see the pain behind the behavior and respond in love. It worked for Jesus!

Listen, Stop, Look

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!”

–Luke 10:40 NIV

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!”

–Luke 10:40 NIV

Whenever we read the story in Luke about Martha and Mary, we either identify with one or the other. I used to think if the Marys in the world would help out more, us Marthas wouldn’t get so upset. However, after studying this portion of Scripture, I discovered a truth behind the scenes that applies to all of our lives.

Martha was busy making sure everything was perfect. Her motive might have been right, but her method was skewed. Jesus listened to Martha’s complaint—He truly listened. He stopped everything He was doing and focused on her. Then He looked beyond her behavior to her frustrations. He saw the pain behind her actions; and with love, He guided her to see what was really important or truly needed.

We are often on our cell phones responding to everyone except those two feet from us. What if we focused on the three steps Jesus took with Martha? Listen: focus on the other person, not our reply. Stop: cease from all other activity, no multitasking. Look: see the pain behind the behavior and respond in love. It worked for Jesus!

Father, it can be so easy for me to half listen. Please help me to listen more and talk less.

Father, when I am faced with someone’s ugly behavior, please help me to look past the actions and see the pain.

Brenda Beattie
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