Celebrating Our Differences

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6-8 ESV)

In Scripture, we read about the life of two very different sisters who had one very important thing in common – their love for Jesus. Their names were Mary and Martha. Martha was the older sister of Mary, overtly identifying herself as having a superior gift of hospitality, who paid scrupulous attention to detail, with a desire to please and a need to serve. Luke 10:38 (ESV) reveals to us the gift of hospitality: “Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into their house.” In Martha’s desperate need to please, prepare, serve, and be hospitable, she let distraction become the focus of the day. Preparation was the focus for Martha. Luke 10:40 (NASB) says, “But Martha was distracted with all her preparations…”

Mary’s disposition on the other hand, was carefree, easygoing, and led by her heart. When Jesus and His disciples came for a visit, how does Mary respond? Luke 10:29 (ESV) says, “And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching.” Mary’s focus was on one person and one person only: Jesus. Mary did not think of the traditions of the day with regard to hospitality or preparation because Jesus had entered her home. He and He alone captured her heart.

This dynamic between sisters caused a bit of turmoil to which Jesus replies in Luke 10:41-42 (NASB), “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.’“ Notice Jesus did not say, “Martha, be like Mary.” He said, “Mary has chosen what is better.” This relationship model is for us to reflect upon as we celebrate our differences “according to the grace given to us.”

Tangible Takeaway:

Instead of viewing differences in relationships as a negative, how can you celebrate them as the gifts Christ has uniquely given?

This is an excerpt from We’re Still in This by Susan Goss – a new relationship devotional book released by DaySpring publishing.  Learn more about this book, or shop other books from DaySpring.