Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

The Fallacy of Productivity


Are you busy with a hectic schedule like Martha or can you be still and listen like Mary?I have the hardest time going to a movie theater. Seriously, the last two movies I went to were Brave and the Avengers this summer, but before that it had been at least three or four years. Why? It’s simple. It gets too dark for me to do anything. At home with a DVD, I can scrap book, do social media, plan meals, crochet, and I like the feeling of being productive.

There are times to put aside busy-ness and get quiet enough to listen to God. Click to Tweet This!

Like Mary and Martha from Luke 10:39. The two sisters entertained Christ in their home. Martha planned and fussed and struggled to prepare something to give honor to the Lord. Mary, on the other hand, sat at Jesus’s feet focused on the instruction and encouragement that He gave.

Martha had good motivation, but missed the big picture. She also missed the amazing lessons that He shared that day in her own home. Mary truly gave Him honor by giving Him her full attention. She ended up being commended for her choice. Despite the fact that she looked lazy, she delighted in everything that came from the Lord’s mouth.

But what a conundrum this presents. Life is a busy place and we want to do our best to earn and show respect to family, friends, bosses. We want to give our best to the Lord, too; practiced, primped, without flaw.

Whoa. Wait a minute. This use of the word flaw reminds me of a Bible verse – Ephesians 5:25 – where Paul is describing the love of a man for his wife and comparing it to the Lord’s love for His church.

Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

This makes it clear that Christ is the one Who makes us flawless, even with all of our practice and dedication. So should we even try to extend our best to God? Yes, and spend time in practice and prayer to do so, but we can’t impress Him. And while He inhabits our offering of praise, whatever that sacrifice might be, we delight Him when we stay in a teachable position ready to learn from Him.

Your turn: Which do you lean toward, the Mary or the Martha? Or have you found a balance?

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

7 thoughts on “The Fallacy of Productivity

  1. I am definitely not a Martha. Would love to claim I am a Mary. But in truth I would have to say I am probably their American cousin May Bee. : )


  2. I’m a little of both depending on the situation. Maybe more Martha in these busy times. There are some days that I’m just all about getting the work done and over with…I’ll miss my quiet time with the Lord, and with my family. Then I’ll have a day (like one in 10) where it’s all about meditating on a Bible verse or sermon – even at work…the Lord’s Word speaks to my heart and I sit and really listen. I can’t predict those days, but love when they come.

    Great post.


    • I can so relate. Missed my Bible Study this morning and am playing catch up to try to squeeze it in. Still working on that – terribly distracted. Thanks for visiting!


  3. By all means I am a Martha but struggling to find Mary’s ability to sit and be quiet. I too, fall into that fallacy of productivity. For me it’s a compulsion. I’ll be cleaning and telling myself I’m missing time with my family. Despite the words urging me to stop, I just keep going but deep down get that hamster-wheel effectiveness of what I’m doing in the long run. At least I’m aware and making myself stop–sometimes anyway. Great post. Thank, Marji!


    • Oh I totally empathize! For me it’s writing. I’ll get deep into a project and find it impossible to drag myself away. I’ve got a little balancing to work on!


      • I’ve been there with writing and dearly miss being that enmeshed in a story. (they’re eluding me big-time these days.) Have fun in your process. The cleaning and other things will be there, lol.