Sermon Devotions

Navigating Life’s Storms

A Biblical Perspective on Stress Management

Day 3: Learning from Martha’s Stress

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 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 few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'” Luke 10:38-42 ESV

This passage shows two contrasting responses to Jesus’s presence. Martha, busy and distracted with hosting responsibilities, is stressed and upset. Meanwhile, Mary sits at Jesus’s feet, listening to His teachings. Jesus responds to Martha’s concern not with a reprimand but with gentle correction—emphasizing that Mary’s choice to prioritize relationship and spiritual nourishment over busyness is the better choice.
Imagine you’re hosting a dinner party for a VIP. You’re worried about the food, the table settings, the cleanliness of your house, and so on. Meanwhile, your sibling is in the living room, sitting and chatting with the guest, seemingly unconcerned about all the preparations. That’s the situation Martha found herself in. But Jesus gently reminded Martha—and us—that while tasks are essential, they should never distract us from spending time with Him, our ultimate VIP.
  • What was Martha’s primary concern when Jesus visited their home?
  • How did Jesus respond to Martha’s request for help?
  • What was the “better choice” that Mary made, according to Jesus?
  • How can you relate to Martha’s struggle in your own life?
  • What does Jesus’s response to Martha teach you about priorities in your spiritual life?
  • What changes can you make to ensure your busyness doesn’t distract you from your relationship with Jesus?


Confess to God the times when you, like Martha, have allowed stress and busyness to distract you from Him. Ask Him for the grace to choose the better part, like Mary, even when life gets busy. Pray for a heart that seeks Him first, above all tasks and responsibilities.

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