This is the first lesson in bestselling author and speaker John Maxwell’s Leadership by the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, tell them to sign up to receive John’s free email devotional here.
By John C. Maxwell
When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Martha’s house, she welcomed them gladly and immediately saw to their needs. But the more she served, the angrier she got. While she was slaving away, her sister was sitting at Jesus’ feet, hanging on to his every word. Finally, Martha erupted in frustration, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me” (Luke 10:40).
We might expect Jesus to tell Mary to help. But that’s not what Jesus did. Instead He took the opportunity to teach Martha that activity is not necessarily accomplishment. He explained, “One thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42).
Mary took advantage of Jesus’ presence and gave him her full attention. She demonstrated focus, an indispensable quality of leadership, by directing her priorities and concentration on the main thing. Martha had her priorities mixed up—she focused on the minor things—and nearly missed the Jesus moment. Martha’s experience teaches us that when Jesus is in the house (and remember, he’s always in the house), give him your full attention. Prioritizing attentiveness to Jesus focuses our energies on what really matters and increases our leadership influence and effectiveness.
The above is adapted from The Maxwell Leadership Bible / Third Edition by John C. Maxwell (@JohnCMaxwell). Copyright © 2002, 2007, 2018 by Maxwell Motivation, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com.
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