When you hear about Martha in the New Testament, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Probably you recall the story about her and her sister Mary, wholistened to Jesus’ teachings, while Martha worried aboutthe chores. Through the years, it has become one of the New Testament’s greatest lessons about setting the right priorities. In one way, it can leave the impression that perhaps Martha may not have realized the great blessing of talking and listening to Christ. But there is another story about Martha that we can all learn from.
From John 11, we learn about the death of Lazarus and Martha’s sorrow at his passing. Yet, despite the pain of losing a brother, she had the faith to say “I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.” In the succeeding verses, she also bears her testimony about the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Who could express such testimony in the midst of grief and sorrow? It takes one with trust and faith in the Savior to be able to express that. And Martha, in one of her darkest hours, was able to still exhibit faith and trust in the Savior.
Being a Martha in this life is sometimes inevitable. We can get so caught up in the daily rigors of life that we forget to take the time to learn more about the Savior. There are also Marthas in our lives; those we might think are not taking spiritual things seriously. It could be one of our children who seems to not take Family Home Evening preparations seriously. It could be the students in your class who don’t outwardly seem to grasp the importance of serious gospel principles.
Is it easy for us to just let them be because they don’t give the response we expect from them? Do we forget that inside their hearts, there could be a budding testimony waiting to be enriched? Like the New Testament Martha, the Marthas in our lives can also exhibit strong, unwavering testimonies when trying times come. There are several things we can do to help them.
Remind Them Of Their Potential
Forcing someone to learn all at once can be frustrating. One of the first ways you can help the Martha in your life is to acknowledge who they are now while constantly reminding them of their potential. The person you are trying to help may seem lax and casual about the gospel, but keep encouraging them. Follow Pres. Hinckley’s frequent encouragement: “Just do the best you can, but be sure it’s your very best.”
Lead By Example
People around you may seem nonchalant but most of them are very keen observers. Giving counsel and encouragement helps, but leading by example is better. Help them see first-hand how important the gospel is to you through your actions and decisions.
See Them Through Heavenly Father’s Eyes
Elder Dale G. Renlund said, “To effectively serve others, we must see them through a parent’s eyes, through Heavenly Father’s eyes.” If one sees kids, teenagers, [or] Sunday School students only as who they are right now, it can be a little frustrating. But when we see them as who they can be, our perspective changes dramatically. Ask the Lord to help you see His children through His eyes.
New Testament Lessons On Martha, A Humbling Example
It is inspiring to know that the New Testament character often used as an example of being distracted is also the one who bore a powerful testimony amidst her trials. Like this woman, the Marthas in our life can often be perceived as distracted. But like Jesus’ dear friend, there is also a testimony inside their hearts. Let us do our best to help them bear strong testimonies amidst trials, too. We can do this by reminding them of their potential, leading by example, and seeing them through the Lord’s eyes.