…outside the box but inside God's Word...
Bein' a Berean
Martha was angry. Mary was not helping her prepare the meal. She marched into the meeting and practically orders Jesus, "Lord, make Mary help me!"
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the best part; it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (NET)
I've always had difficulty finding the message in this event. Consider this thought as I paraphrase Jesus response to Martha:
“Martha, Martha, you are letting things bother you. Mary has the freedom to make her own choices. That freedom cannot be taken from her.” (Luke 10:38-42 my paraphrase).
Seems like Martha was a bit of a 'controller.' The best definition of a 'controller' I've run across refers to someone who freaks out when something or someone is outside of their control.
Three issues come to light in this passage:
We choose anger when others do not live up to our expectations and/or don't do what we want. We could choose not to get angry but often use anger to punish those who resist.
This is often prevalent in the marriage relationship, and perhaps it is here that God has chosen to extract these aspects of the fall in His drive to transform and free us from the control of sin.
Is anger an option where a husband loves his wife with the self-sacrificing love of God (Ephesians 5:28) when she doesn't act on his demands? Is a wife's anger justified when the husband, who is her head by God's decree (Ephesians 5:23), doesn't do as she directs? Does, "He never listens to me!" mean he doesn't obey me? Can we expect God's blessings and joy to flow our way (Deuteronomy 28) when we respond in anger rather than loving service (Philippians 2:5ff)?
Both the scriptures and health sciences speak to the dangers of sustained or repeated anger (i.e. bitterness). It gives evil the right to rob us of every good thing God has for us (Ephesians 4:26).
We harvest what we sow. It's God's absolute law. If we sow anger in a relationship, we will harvest the consequences of that anger. Is that what we want?
Since anger is a choice, we alone are responsible for our anger and its consequences. We are empowered to choose love instead of anger. We do well to act in earnest drawing, if necessary, on the power of God, to avoid submitting to anger, acknowledging it as sin, and choosing instead to love and serve.