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Getting stressed doesn’t glorify God

Peace dove SX 399As our live get more and more crowded, Ruth Tong believes that God wants our time and devotion rather than our “busy-ness”.

In the story of Mary and Martha, one sister wanted to sit at the feet of Christ and listen to him, while the other wanted to receive recognition for “bustin’ her hump”! I’m so glad the short account (in Luke 10-38:42) was actually documented because it’s one of those universal human dilemmas we can all relate to.
I guess depending on where we find ourselves we can feel empathy for either side. It’s hard when it feels like the buck stops with you isn’t it? But stop and think for a moment - Does it, really? Our fallen nature so often dictates the amount of control or surrender we yield or hold.  We can have the best motives and the loveliest heart but find ourselves unable to delegate or ask for help. When I look at Jesus I see a person who gets what’s going on around Him… and it matters to Him because we matter to Him. He wasn’t unaware.
I wonder - If Martha had handled her heart and her tongue differently - would Jesus have sat her down and quietened her with His love and got everyone else to cook dinner?
Beloved child, stressing out does not glorify God. It’s easy to find “stressy” people - they’re usually in the midst of some drama. Martha wanted others to join her stressing and Jesus was not ok with that.
We live in an age of drama queens, and it’s sad because this “stressy” behaviour is celebrated. Look at any docu-soap! But let’s look at ourselves too, because there are times when we have all craved the approval, sympathy or deference of others, looking to humans for something only The Father can give.  Sadly we then wonder why we feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
Many times I’ve tried to fill the holes in my self-esteem, my loneliness, my inadequacy with the wrong ‘stuff’ only to find these things added to my emptiness. Or worse, my pride and self-sufficiency has stopped me from asking for help.   The bible says that only what is done for love’s reward will remain. When we look in the wrong place for acceptance or do the wrong things for approval we rob ourselves of something from our eternal future.
Jesus wants us to enter His Kingdom minted having stored our treasures in heaven. When we don’t really know who we are in Christ we can try and fill in the pieces. The only person you need to please, seek approval or empathy from is Jesus.
So what pleases Him? It pleases Him when we put Him first, when we chose to humbly get on with the ordinary and determine our hearts to live in obedience and surrender to Him. When we choose to be low maintenance just like oxen, it’s then that His yoke is easy and His burden light because we’re not straining against His will.
Next time you’re sorry for yourself, overwhelmed or misunderstood, Go and ask Jesus for practical help then take a moment to receive from His spirit the gift of peace which surpasses understanding and promises to guard your heart and mind.
Dove image is courtesy of Nevit Dilmen  at http://www.freeimages.com/ 

Ruth Tong
Ruth Tong is the Coordinator of Women’s Ministries at Eternity Downham Market, and is the author of ‘Love Drops from Heaven’.  Ruth regularly blogs at 

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