Week 5 – What is the state of your heart?
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World
Ch. 9 & 10: Martha’s Teachable Heart and Mary’s Extravagant Love
As a teacher with the summer in full swing, I have been reflecting on the last school year. As I look back however, I cannot help but think about those two boys who failed my Algebra 2 class. My goal as a math teacher is for all of my students to be successful. I tried to do everything I could to help all of my students, especially those two boys, manage the stressors of high school with their class work, social life, our military lifestyle and their part-time jobs. In the end they both chose to not do what was necessary to learn and be successful in class. They did not want the reward of knowledge, deeper mathematical understanding or even just a passing grade; it was “too much work”. They didn’t have teachable hearts. Sadly, of the three of us, I can say with 99% certainty that I am the one most upset about it. I wanted them to find success more than they wanted it.
Knowing the disappointment I feel as the teacher from my two students who did not want work hard to pass a high school math class, I can’t imagine how much more deeply hurt God must feel as our Father as He watches us choose to not follow Him or to not have teachable hearts.
Chapter 9 focuses on Martha’s teachable heart. I relate to Martha in many ways. She works hard to be the best hostess possible while inside feeling irritated she is not getting more help. I strive to do the best I can both at home and at school, often overlooking my emotional and spiritual needs to best address my husband’s, son’s and students’ needs first. I want everything to be as perfect as possible! But as I was reading this chapter, a simple but profound statement from Joanna made rocked me to my core:
“Martha thought she had value because she was productive. Jesus wanted her to learn she had value simply because she was his. “
Our value does not come from how hard we work, the amount of money we bring in or how exceptional we are as parents or friends. My value isn’t in how perfect and tidy my house is or how smoothly I run my classroom. I am a child of God and it is through Him that I have my value. Praise the Lord!
Luckily, we all have the opportunity to have teachable hearts and to show our love extravagantly like Mary did in Chapter 10. Mary’s heart was pure when she showed her heart and loyalty as best she knew how: by pouring it out at His feet. Does God expect this extravagance all the time? Of course not. If we fall short of His expectations, does He help us get back on track with a gentle rebuke full of love, hoping we have a teachable heart to hear His true meaning? Absolutely. The best part is God has laid a path out for each one of us to follow so we may one day reap the reward of everlasting life.
This week I challenge you to assess the state of your heart. Take some time to reflect on the areas of your life God might be trying to gently rebuke. Do you have a teachable heart that will allow you to be open to His message? Feel free to share how you have encountered God in either the Martha or Mary sense.
Kristen is a mother to an energetic little boy with another due in August, a military spouse, and a full time math teacher. Currently stationed overseas, she is busy trying to balance the responsibilities of her many roles while enjoying the opportunities God has provided her family. Her family’s motto is “Grow where you are planted”.