Martha, Martha

Martha was angry. Mary was not helping her prepare the meal. She marched into the meeting and tells Jesus, "Lord, make Mary help me!"

I've always had difficulty finding the message in this event. Consider this thought as I paraphrase the text.

Jesus responded by saying, “Martha, Martha, you are letting things bother you. Mary has the freedom to make her own choices. That freedom cannot be taken from her.” (Luke 10:38-42).

Three issues come to light: 

   * We are free to make her own choices

   * We do not have the right to control the actions of others

   * We use the situation to get angry

We choose anger when others do not live up to our expectations and/or don't do what we want. We could choose not to get angry but often use anger to punish those who resist.

This is especially prevalent in the marriage relationship and perhaps it is here that God has chosen to extract this aspect of the fall in His drive to transform us.

Is anger an option where a husband loves his wife with the self-sacrificing love of God (Eph 5:28) when she doesn't act on his demands? Is a wife's anger justified when the husband, who is her head by God's decree (Eph 5:23), doesn't do as she directs? Can we expect God's blessings and joy to flow our way (Deut 28) when we we respond in loving service rather than anger (Phil 2:5ff)?

Both the scriptures and health sciences clearly speak to the dangers of sustained or repeated anger (i.e. bitterness). It gives evil the right to rob us of every good thing God has for us (Eph. 4:26).

We harvest what we sow. It's God's absolute law. If we sow anger in a relationship, we will harvest the consequences of that anger. Is that what we want?

Since anger is a choice, we are solely responsible for our anger and its consequences. We are empowered to choose love instead of anger. We do well to act in earnest drawing, if necessary, on full power of God, to avoid giving in to anger, acknowledging it as sin, and choosing instead love and service.


Without Prejudice. © 2012, Steven., house of bij de Leij., a man.