Distracted Devotion: Learning from Martha

“Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing.” Luke 10:39-40a

You are flying around the house with the last-minute clean-up. Or maybe you haven’t even started cleaning up. So, you are shoving things in the closets, wiping toothpaste out of the sink, and yelling to your son to put his shoes away. Your guests are going to be here any minute. Oh and dinner, that’s right! It’s time to get the casserole in the oven so it’s done on time. Do you feel your heart racing just reading this? Are you reminded of times you have been distracted and overwhelmed?

In our key verses for today, we are jumping into a story of two women. We will take two different blog posts to look at this story since there is so much packed into it. Jesus has arrived at the house of Mary and Martha. He came to visit and teach. Read Luke 10:38-42.

Martha is diligently attending to household tasks, showcasing her strong work ethic and hospitality. While her commitment is admirable, her preoccupation with tasks leads to distraction, frustration, and discontent. What insights can we glean from Martha's experience?

Martha’s work ethic and hospitality

First, let’s look at how focused Martha is. Honestly, I admire Martha’s work ethic and hospitality. Jesus stopped by unannounced yet she welcomed Him into her home. She set right to work to get food ready for her guests. You have to remember that this wasn’t a few friends that stopped by. Probably more like a small crowd. Jesus most likely came with all 12 disciples. Several others followed Jesus who also probably came into the home.

I love how hard Martha worked. There is nothing wrong with being a hard worker. We read in Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” God wants us to be hard workers. What He doesn’t want is for us to be so distracted by our work that we don’t take time to be with Him. Martha was distracted by her work and therefore from being with Jesus.


God desires us to have self-control when we feel overwhelmed. Martha had a lot happening to get ready for her guests. She started to get upset with her sister Mary. Martha even went as far as to complain and whine to Jesus about it. In the moments we feel overwhelmed, we need to take a step back, breathe, and ask Jesus to help us be self-controlled. We also need to ask Him to help us not point to others and blame them for feeling the way we do. It wasn’t Mary’s fault that Martha was stressed. Martha made the choice to be distracted.

I love how Jesus lovingly confronts this choice in Luke 10:41-42But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.

Master Blog Post Distracted

Jesus reminds Martha that the only thing worth being concerned about is taking time to be with Jesus. This is something that can never be taken away. Jesus wanted Martha to see how much her work was taking away from learning more about Him. He wanted her to realize the importance of spending time at His feet every day. Jesus also wanted Martha to see that she could talk to Him at any time.

How do we apply this to our lives? I think it’s safe to say that as women we are always working on something. We have lists galore and things around the house and work that needs to get done. Jesus loves that we work hard. What Jesus loves even more than that is when we take time to be with Him. In next week’s blog post, we will take a look at how Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and how we can learn to do the same.

Let's Pray

Dear Lord, thank You for affirming our hard work. There are so many details to keep up with each day and so many things to do. Thank You that You care about it all and want to help us. God, we long to not let our work distract us from You. Holy Spirit, please prompt us when we get too overwhelmed. Please help us pause and slow down. Help us to hold our tongues and take full responsibility for our actions. Jesus, we want You first in our life and our hearts. Please guide us on how to do this. We love You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Questions for Reflection

  1. What did you learn about Jesus in this Bible story?
  2. Have you ever blamed someone else or lost self-control when you felt overwhelmed?
  3. What distracts you from spending time with Jesus? What is one thing you can do to stop that distraction?

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Anastasia Corbin
Welcome, I'm Anastasia!

As an Author and Speaker, I am passionate about sharing God's Word. Check out the Blog and sign up for my weekly newsletter below where I encourage overwhelmed moms to prioritize faith, family, and fitness. If I had a day to myself, you would find me on the beach reading a book.



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