Sibling Jealousy and Rivalry
“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:40-42, NIV)
Here, we see sibling jealousy and rivalry between two sisters – Martha and Mary. Every parent with several children has witnessed similar conflict and heard the complaining, blaming, and protests of impartial or unfair treatment. Frustrated and angry with Mary’s behavior, Martha turns to Jesus and asks, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?” She goes on to demand that Jesus tell Mary to help her with the chores.
We see a glimpse of Jesus’ frustration with Martha when he repeats her name twice. He goes on to tell her that only one thing is important, and that Mary has made the right choice! Can you imagine the look on Martha’s face as she hears Jesus tell her that she worries too much, has failed to recognize what really matters, and that her sister made the better choice? Jesus continues by telling her that He will not punish Mary for sitting at His feet and listening to His teaching!
As Christians, we must not give in to jealousy and envy or complain whenever we see fellow Christians experience the Lord’s favor and blessing. Instead, we must examine ourselves, our motives, decisions and actions, and determine if they stand in agreement with God’s Word and His promises.
Child of God, have you put God first in your life or have you allowed work, family, leisure or something else to edge God out? Like Mary, we must choose wisely. I encourage you to choose the better – choose to sit at the feet of Jesus. He is what you need most. When you choose to put Him first, know that He will meet all your other needs!
Father, thank You for Your love and patience, even when I doubt and question You. Jesus, teach me to focus on God’s Word, Your Way, Your Truth and Your Light at all times. Help me to always choose the better. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.