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Devotion or Distraction?

I have a friend in a relationship with someone at that difficult stage where she is wondering where the relationship is going. Is the relationship heading down the aisle, or is the relationship heading into a cul-de-sac?

We have all been involved in relationships where some clarity is needed by the two parties involved. It happens in business relationships, family relationships, between friends, and between lovers. What needs to happen frequently in our relationships is that we have a D.T.R. conversation. D.T.R. stands for “Define the Relationship.”
I remember thinking when I was younger that this kind of, often awkward, conversation would become less necessary as we became familiar with those we are in a relationship with. The opposite is true… it seems that more and more, it is important to have the kind of conversations that define where the relationship stands.

Some people need to have a D.T.R. in the most important relationship that we are involved in - Our relationship with Jesus.

There is an insightful conversation in Luke’s gospel (10:38-42) where Mary and Martha are at a pivotal point in their relationship with Jesus. Jesus is coming to dinner, and both of these women scurry around to ensure everything is prepared; as the doorbell rings and the V.I.P.s arrive, it becomes alarmingly clear that Martha and Mary are involved in different relationships with Jesus.

  • Martha’s relationship wants to please Jesus by being as hospitable as she can be, doing all that she needs to do, and ensuring that everything is orderly. She gets pretty agitated that her sister isn’t helping out with the necessary chores. We read that she is distracted.
  • On the other hand, Mary’s relationship is very different. Her relationship with Jesus is defined by her desire to give Jesus her full attention and devotion. She was single and sole-minded in making Jesus the center of her affection and attention.

Martha’s relationship with Jesus is defined by distraction, and Mary’s by devotion.

As the evening continues, Jesus helps Martha clarify the confusion she senses in her relationship with Jesus. Jesus lovingly and tenderly affirms that only one thing matters: a relationship defined by a devotion to him.

Is it time for your next D.T.R. with Jesus? He longs to have this conversation with you.
Devote yourself completely to a relationship with Jesus.

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