Beware of Distractions

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 in Scripture

One of my favorite pericopes in the Gospels found in Luke 10:38-42 — Mary and Martha. We find this story in Luke’s account alone. In it we find the following, “But Martha was distracted with much serving” (Luke 10:40 ESV). There are many things and/or movements that come along in the life of an individual and/or the church that on the surface seem to be necessary for living out the gospel life. These things are often needed, even commanded, as a part of gospel life and never the whole. The danger is that the service itself becomes a distraction to living the gospel, so much so that we miss Christ.

In his classic Knowing God, J.I. Packer warned of such distractions:

We have been brought to the point where we both can and must get our life’s priorities straight. From current Christian publications you might think that the most vital issue for any real or would-be Christian in the world today is church union, or social witness, or dialogue with other Christians and other faiths, or refuting this or that -ism, or developing a Christian philosophy and culture, or what have you. But our line of study makes the present day concentration on these things look like a gigantic conspiracy of misdirection. Of course, it is not that; the issues themselves are real and must be dealt with in their place. But it is tragic that, in paying attention to them, so many in our day seem to have been distracted from what was, and is, and always will be, the true priority for every human being. That is, learning to know God in Christ.

May we take care that we are not well-meaning Martha’s who missed Christ, but may we be Mary’s who seek to worship Christ with our whole being.


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