Bitterness, isolation and jadedness are aspects of the darkness getting in the way of our connection with God and others. We’re looking at the stories of Mary and Martha today. In the first story, Martha can only complain about Mary not working with her. In the second story, Martha is looking for a connection with Jesus over the death of her brother.
We live in a world of suffering, and participating in ministry will open up a door to more ministry. You’ll have yours and other’s suffering more in the forefront of your life.
Bitterness, isolation, and jadedness are the darkness we’re talking about today. Ministry can shine the light into these areas in a powerful way!
We talk about the degrees of withdrawing from others, like texting instead of calling, or calling instead of hanging out face-to-face.
It’s also too easy to get swept away by the darkness and evil in the world.
Connection, contentment, tenderness—these are the things we want to strive for to shed light.
Luke 10 the story of Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet and Martha being busy.
“Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her.”
John 11 the story of Lazarus dying after Jesus delays coming. Mary and Martha are there too, and we see Martha’s faith grow a little.
Martha’s suffering facilitates a powerful connection to Jesus—and we all benefit too because we have the teaching and the quote “I am the resurrection and the life.”
Evan notes the difference in Martha’s way of complaining to Jesus in the two stories. One is full of bitterness (isolation) and one is full of sorrow (seeking connection).
It’s too easy to grow jaded being exposed to other’s suffering. We also numb ourselves to suffering in media too; our brain cannot always distinguish between cinema violence and real violence and suffering.
We need to face our tendencies to become jaded head-on in our faith that God is working out His faithfulness in the world.
Evan contrasts two extremes: Health and wellness preaching (you’re entitled to riches beyond just the blessings of life) versus hell-fire preachers condemning the world and sin without tenderness and grace. A good minister needs to not get lost in either extreme.
Seek God and let Him take care of the rest. We need to avoid saying God’s way is either holy poverty or health and wellness. Who’s to say? But seek God!
So when we minister to others or ourselves, we need to avoid despair or disregard.
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Liz’s book: Tales From A Spacious Place
Music by: Nu Skiffle Brigade used under creative commons license