Friday, August 12, 2011

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

I have to confess that this book has been languishing in my to-read pile for more than 3 years! I snagged the book at a swap way back then, but it never made it to the top of my list. I finally decided a couple of months ago that I should either read it or give it away, so that I didn't see it every time I flipped through my stack!

Though this wasn't a book I was excited to read, it definitely was a convicting one.

I particularly connected with the chapter about worrying. Author Joanna Weaver quotes an anxiety study that says that of what we worry about, 40% of it will never happen, 30% is about the past, 12% is about criticism from others, 10% is about health, and 8% is about real problems that can be solved. As I thought about what I worry about, I realized how closely I fit those statistics.

Other quotes about worry from the book:
"God knows worry short-circuits our relationship with Him. It fixes our eyes on our situation rather than on our Savior."
"Worry doesn't prevent bad things from happening. In fact, it may prevent us from the leading the full lives God intends us to live." "Concern draws us to God. Worry pulls us from Him." Yikes!
"Fretting magnifies the problem, but prayer magnifies God."

Other quotes:
"While there are many needs, God has not asked us to meet every one." Weaver, a pastor's wife, points out that often 20% of the church does 80% of the work. (I know I sure feel that way, as I get asked to bring food/serve on a regular basis.)

"Jesus tells Mary, 'You're worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.'
And what is that one thing? Listening to God!"

"Conscious repentance leads to unconscious holiness." Oswald Chambers

Another favorite chapter was when the author observed that the story of Mary and Martha is sandwiched in the Bible between the story of the Good Samaritan (work, duty, being practical) with Jesus' teaching on the Lord's Prayer (relationship, devotion). She talked about a teeter totter where we find the balance of work and worship. I know that's something I can relate to!

This was a thought-provoking book, and I'm glad I finally picked it up. Have any of you read it?


Kara K said...

Too funny that you posted about this book. I got it a couple of years back and have brought it with me to various places in hopes of starting it. Maybe this is the jumpstart I need!

CK N said...

That is a really good book! We did it at our church a few years ago. I learned alot!