Luke 10:38-42 is a familiar Bible story. It tells of two sisters, Mary and Martha, one of whom was commended and the other gently corrected. And more often than not, we are taught that we need to rest in the Lord and listen to Him instead of busying ourselves serving Him. And certainly there is a place for this teaching. Especially in busy, busy Singapore.
But this lesson is not all there is to it. “Mary good, Martha bad” is too simplistic a formula! Romans 16 contains the Apostle Paul’s greetings and commendations to various people, in particular, women. And two women are highlighted in similar terms. v. 16, “Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you.” v. 12 “Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord.” Working hard in the Lord, for the Lord is commendable. If the effort flows from a heart of devotion to Him!
Therefore, both at rest and at work, the attitude of the heart is what matters.