The Crazy Busy Family

Helps for the Crazy Busy Family

Identify the idols behind the busy

Idols are good things elevated to ultimate things. It is easy to pick on Martha here. Meals are good. Silverware is needed. Jesus ate many meals, and all of them required preparation. There’s nothing wrong with any of that and it certainly can be done with proper priorities. But Martha elevated a secondary thing to a primary thing. Mary realized that when God is in your home, the most important thing is him. Jesus trumps the table setting.

Why are we so busy really? Are we forced into these crazy schedules? Do we go to jail if we aren’t crazy busy? No, the really crazy thing is we choose to be crazy busy. We choose to be exhausted with little or no margin for the things that when we are dead we will wish we had spent our time and energy doing. Why? The main reason is the elevation of good things to ultimate things.

  • Identity in my achievements/fear of failure
  • Success of my children
  • Desire for more money/mind on earthly things
  • Perception by others of significance/importance
  • Affirmation by parents, spouse, family, friends, social media
  • Security in accumulation
  • Perceived as “having it all together”

Obviously behind most, if not all of these, is pride and the worship of self. “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” (1 John 2:16)

Busyness and the exhaustion of life is often self-inflicted. Again, none of us are victims here. We choose to live this way, but Mary saw one thing as necessary and it led her to quiet herself and listen at the feet of Jesus. Is that faithful exegesis of Luke 10? Martha was worshiping self while Mary was worshiping Jesus. Busyness can mask so many heart issues.

“Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness. Obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”[1] (Tim Kreider)

Can you be honest with yourself? Why do you live at the pace you do? Strip away the self-justifications and platitudes. Really, why do you do what you do? Idols are terrible slave-masters and if we find ourselves at the precipice of a breakdown, it’s rarely the Marys who are falling apart. Would the start of 2018 be a good time to repent of the idols of our hearts in 2017 and make this year a year striving to live for the one necessary thing?

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

© 2018 by Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address ( on the copied resource.

[1] Tim Kreider as quoted by Kevin DeYoung, Crazy Busy, p. 31.

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