Sunday, 29 March 2015

Why being a martyr doesn’t glorify God by Ruth Tong

Guest Post by ACW Member Ruth Tong

In the story of Mary and Martha, one sister wanted to sit at the feet of Christ and listen to him, while the other wanted to receive recognition for bustin her hump! I’m so glad the short account (in Luke 10-38:42) was actually documented because it’s one of those universal human dilemma’s we can all relate to. I guess depending on where we find ourselves we can feel empathy for either side. It’s hard when it feels like the buck stops with you isn’t it? But stop and think for a moment does it, really? Our fallen nature can dictate the amount of control or surrender we feel we hold on to or yield. When I look at Jesus I see a person who gets what’s going on around Him… and it matters to Him for we matter to Him. In this story, He wasn’t unaware of Martha’s experience. I wonder if she had handled her heart and her tongue differently would Jesus have sat her down and quietened her with His love and got everyone else to cook dinner?

Beloved child, stressing out does not glorify God. It’s easy to find stressy people they’re usually in the midst of some drama. Martha wanted others to join her stressing and Jesus was not ok with that. We live in an age of drama queens and it’s sad because this stressy behaviour is celebrated. Look at any docu-soap! But let’s look at ourselves too because there are times when we have all craved the approval, sympathy or deference of others, looking to humans for something only The Father can give. Sadly we then wonder why we feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled? Many times I’ve tried to fill the holes in my self-esteem, my loneliness my inadequacy with the wrong ‘stuff’ only to find these things added to my sense of emptiness. Or worse my pride and self-sufficiency has stopped me asking for help.

The bible says only what is done for loves reward will remain. When we look in the wrong place for acceptance or do the wrong things for approval we rob ourselves of something from our eternal future. Jesus wants us to enter His Kingdom ‘minted’ having stored our treasures in heaven. So when the kitchen feels hot it’s good to remember the only person you need to please, seek approval or empathy from is Jesus. So what pleases Him? It pleases Him when we put Him first, when we chose to humbly get on with the ordinary and determine our hearts to live in obedience and surrender to Him. When we choose to be low maintenance just like oxen, it’s then that His yoke is easy and His burden light because we’re not straining against His will. Next time you’re sorry for yourself, overwhelmed or misunderstood. Go and ask Jesus for practical help then take a moment to receive from His spirit the gift of peace which surpasses understanding and promises to guard your heart and mind.

About the Author

Ruth is an author, blogger, conference speaker, overcomer and cancer survivor; she was brought up in Northern during the troubles but left there to study in London in 1990. With her background in psychology she offers insight into the dynamics of the heart and minds of women. She is a great advocator of making the best of life no matter how awful it is and she can speak with authority on what it is to do live that stance out. Ruth runs the self-esteem course ‘Shine’ for teenage girls and women and is passionate for Christians to communicate the hope of Jesus in a relevant way to a hurting world. She is committed to enjoying the object of God’s love - people and life which is reflected by her infectious sense of fun.

You can find out more about Ruth and her Work at:


  1. Thanks for this reminder of the importance of sitting with God and being with him. In today's hustle and bustle we often forget this.

  2. Mmm these are wise words to let sink in, especially on a Sunday.

  3. I am the stresser and I've realised I like to try and pull everyone in with me, even God. What a great reminder to not only take it to Jesus and ask for help but to wait for his peace and receive from him.