3 Tips for Leaders Who Are Made Like Martha

3 Tips for Leaders Who Are Made Like Martha

By Katie M. Reid

Do you find deep satisfaction from checking items off your to-do list?

Is it hard for you to relax?

Do you relate more to Martha than Mary (in Luke 10:38-42)?

If so, you might be Made like Martha.

Martha possessed wonderful characteristics: she was hospitable, she was a go-getter, she articulated her feelings instead of stuffing them.

Jesus loved Martha (see John 11:5). Yes, He corrected Martha about being worried and distracted as she worked, but He wasn’t criticizing the totality of who she was.

If you are a leader, who is also designed to be a doer, it’s important to remember the following tips, in order to avoid burnout.

Tip #1: Productivity does not equal value.

I recently purchased a new planner and a weekly meal-planning notepad. I am giddy at the possibilities that these tools offer a doer like me.

Getting things done is satisfying. Yet, whether or not I accomplish my goals this year (or keep up with meal-planning), my value is not determined by how productive I am, and neither is yours.

Our value was cemented into our cells long before we could lift a finger or create a to-do list. And while God has good works prepared for us to do, those works are not what make us worthy.

As you write and speak, keep in mind that your works are not the means to gain (or keep) God’s love. Your works should be an expression of gratitude, for how much God already loves you.

If you are trying to prove your value through how productive you are, you will wear yourself out and probably find yourself disappointed and grouchy (ask me how I know).

My friend Rachel, who has chronic illness says it best, “[God] requires that I love and serve Him with the strength He provides, not the strength I wish I had.”[1]

By all means, work hard as unto the Lord, but be mindful that you aren’t working in order to prove your worth.

Tip #2: Perfection is not up to you.

I used to pride myself on being a perfectionist until the blinders came off and I realized how pride had distorted my view of salvation. You see, when we try to attain perfection with our own strength and know-how, it’s as if we are accusing Jesus of not doing enough on the cross.

Even our best attempts to achieve perfection will fall short. We are incapable of achieving that which Jesus died to provide.

We can wear ourselves to the bone, trying to be flawless, but it is a losing battle. We cannot attain perfection in and of ourselves, so God sent Jesus—the Perfect One, to die for our pride—our sins—that through faith, we can be restored to a right relationship with God.

Perfection is not up to us, it is in us—and His Name is Jesus.

Let’s exchange perfectionism for excellence. Let’s stop getting tripped up by our shortcomings and instead, work hard and do our best—offering others the hope we carry within us. 

Tip #3: Rest is provision not punishment.

Is your body in pain or your mind in a constant state of stress, yet you refuse to undergo what’s necessary to get back on track? I’ve been foolish and stubborn when it comes to rest. But brest is not a punishment inflicted upon us but a gift that God has given us.

Too many leaders exemplify workaholic tendencies and communicate that rest is not something to take seriously. But rest is an opportunity to trust that God is working, even when we aren’t.

Rest is an opportunity to exercise faith that we’ll be taken care of in the absence of our “doing.”

God knows what we need even better than we do. He doesn’t sleep on the job. He does nothing halfway. He lovingly created us to do, but we also need sleep and a break.

When we remember that: our value comes from God, perfection is not up to us, and rest is an integral part of our lives, we become healthy leaders who serve from a place of strength and peace.

[1] Quote from page 62 of Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done, by Katie M. Reid, published by WaterBrook.

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1 Comment

  1. Lita Norsworthy on 2019-02-08 at 3:20 PM

    I have so loved your book, your insight, and doing the Bible Study Made Like Martha!! It was comforting, reassuring, and uplifting to be reminded that Jesus love Martha too and He places much value on her as His daughter.

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