One Thing is Needed

Week 2 – One Thing is Needed

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

Ch. 3: The Diagnosis & Ch. 4: The Cure


“I came to Jesus as I was, Weary and worn and sad; I found in Him a resting place, and He has made me glad.”

Those words, written by a Scottish minister 170 years ago, describe Martha – and me – and maybe you – to a T. When I was in fifth grade, I spent weeks enthusiastically preparing for my first dance: the outfit, shoes, the nail polish, lip gloss, hair style, dance moves. Within minutes of entering the gym, I realized the popular girls were all wearing elephant leg pants – and I wasn’t. I spent the next two hours in worried misery because I wasn’t dressed like other girls.

When I was newly married, I attended my husband’s Very Important Company Christmas Dance. After weeks of preparation, within minutes of our arrival, I was writhing in mortification because his secretary and I were wearing the same exact dress. Silly worries? Yes, and when I look back over my life I realize that I have wasted precious time and energy on similar futile fretting – just like Martha, I was “worried and upset about many things.” (Luke 10:41.)

In chapter three, Joanna Weaver first helps us understand why we are commanded to avoid fear and worry:

“Because God knows worry short-circuits our relationship with him. It fixes our eyes on our situation rather than our savior.” (p. 35)

She provides an excellent chart to help us distinguish between healthy concern and toxic worry and reminds us of the advice from Paul:

Be anxious about nothing. Be prayerful about everything. Be thankful for all things. (p. 40)

Chapter four of our study reminds us of Jesus’ advice to Martha:

“You’re worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.” And what was that one thing? Not cooking or cleaning or doing good works, but knowing God. Listening to him. Leaving the Kitchen long enough to experience the intimate fellowship of the Living Room.” (p. 54)

Joanna Weaver provides an excellent visual of our lives – overburdened with the rocks of others which leads to resentment and burn-out. She reminds us that we are to be open to the Spirit’s leading in all areas of our life, including our service life. “God did not choose us to ‘use’ us…. God created us because he longs to have fellowship with us.” (p. 62)

Which of the burdens that lie heavy on your heart are healthy concerns? Which are toxic worries? Is “something” coming between you and intimate fellowship with God?



Tammy is a school-girl at heart, who loves words and the Word. She teaches chemistry and card-making, and leads a Caring Card Ministry to share words of encouragement with others.

(She’s also my mom and  one of my primary examples of living out Christ’s love!)


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