“It’s a slippery slope, this thing of self-promotion. What begins as a desire to serve Christ metastasizes into an act of impressing people. When this happens, gifted Marthas become miserable mumblers.”- Max Lucado
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. He sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”- Luke 10:38-40 (NLT)
In Chapter 4 (“The Sweet Sound of a Second Fiddle”) of How Happiness Happens, Max Lucado talks about the slippery slope of self-promotion. Hence, Pastor Lucado observes how competition and comparison threatened to ruin a good evening at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.
The problems begin with Martha, the one-person welcoming committee. As Luke writes, Martha welcomed Jesus and His disciples into her house. Then, as Martha continues to prepare the dinner, she feels the heat rise in her heart. Because her sister Mary chose to listen to Jesus rather than offer to help her sister. How ironic, Max notes. Even though Martha’s in the presence of the Prince of Peace, she’s the picture of stress.
Consequently, motivation, not her work or request of Jesus, prompted Martha’s downfall. Therefore, the subtlest of lies suckered her in: self-promotion. For self-promotion:
- is all about self
- has little room for others
- even bosses Jesus
So, Max wants to know, which of the two sisters in the story would you prefer to spend time with? And might a little bit of Martha exist within us? Does our service for Jesus ever turn us into scowling grumps?
Today’s question: Have you ever traversed the slippery slope of self-promotion? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Gift to humanity from God – not us!”