By Not Known

Most of us love to have a lasting and sustained relationship with God through Jesus. For some, keeping spiritual disciplines such as prayer and Bible-reading is quite in line with their almost regimental outlook to life. For others, serving where the needs could often keep them busily in touch with the church. Yet, there are others who struggle with both ends of the Christian life, and are guilt-stricken.

All of us struggle in different aspects and in varying degrees when it comes to keeping our walk with God. Personal make-up and life-stage contribute to these struggles. Keeping morning Quiet Time for a night person may well be a persistent pain; a mother with young children may find it hard to cope with too many ministry commitments; those with travelling as a regular job feature may find it a constant test to protect their Quiet Time and service. It is important to be aware of those things that we do out of convenience and those that challenge our walk with God. But these challenges must not become convenient excuses for spiritual sluggishness.

Luke10:38-42 presents a contrast between Mary (of Bethany) and Martha that challenges our reflection ― Does Christian activism, exemplified by Martha (v40), necessarily equal Christian piety? John 12:1-7 presents another contrast between this Mary and Judas Iscariot which poses the question ― Does Christian moral-ism, exemplified by Judas’ reaction to Mary’s perfuming
act on Jesus (v5), necessarily reflect Christian motivation? On both occasions, Mary expressed her devotion to Jesus by listening to his words and serving him. Notice Jesus’ rebukes of Martha (Lk 10:41&42) and Judas (Jn 12:7).

True devotion to Christ is expressed through obedience that produces godliness, and service that is directed to his glory. Mere activism or moral-ism may well be action or reaction towards people or situations that is driven by our personalities, motives, and life-stages. God searches our hearts for true devotion. We cannot fool him with our Christian disciplines and services. By all means, keep those disciplined Quiet Time and keep busy for God. But know that it is godliness and costly service that glorify him.

Benson Goh