Tag Archives: Personality

It’s Okay to be a Martha

Martha or Mary

Every once in a while I run into blog posts that remind us Christian women that we need to be a Mary in a Martha world. In fact, I ran across it again the other day, and the hurt, and the shame, and disappointment welled up inside of me. For years I struggled with who I am. I am not a Mary. I am not a quiet and meek woman. My strengths are logic, calculations, tasks, and getting things done. And every time I ran across those articles telling me I needed a different personality, I would curl up in a corner and wonder why God made me this way.

It took a while, but I slowly began to see God did not make a mistake when he made me. People like me are needed in this world, and they are needed in the church. Our strengths shore up other’s weakness, just as much as our weaknesses are honed and made stronger by those different from us. We need friendly, outgoing people. We need kindhearted caretakers. But we also need people who are detail-oriented. People who serve behind the scenes. We need Marthas and Marys.

So why do so many of us elevate Mary and put down Martha? I think it’s because we don’t understand what Jesus was really saying in that passage. Not once does Jesus tell Martha to become Mary. Instead, he pointed out where Martha’s focus was. She was so busy serving Jesus that she forgot Jesus. She was worried, and that worry made her lash out at her sister. Instead, he wanted to direct her attention back to what would really last. That meal she was preparing? It would soon be consumed and done. But time spent with him? It would never vanish.

Now does that mean we never cook another meal again (hahaha! I wish!). No, it means while we serve, we keep our focus on the one we are serving. It’s not about being Mary or Martha, it’s about Jesus. Are you a Mary? Then in your quietness enjoy your Lord. Are you a Martha? Then in your service, enjoy your Lord.

If you are a Martha, God isn’t calling you to be a Mary. He is calling you to spend time with him, and serve him with the gifts, personality, and talents he gave you. Those are the moments he spoke of that can never be taken away.

How about you? Are you more like Martha or Mary? Do you ever struggle with the person God made you?


“I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14 NASB)

I sometimes have a hard time believing that about myself; that apart from my sin, I am exactly who I am suppose to be. That God made me wonderful. Because sometimes I struggle with who I am.

Now I’m not talking about sin here, I’m talking about my personality. Anyone familiar with the Myers-Briggs Test will recognize the letters I put for my title. The world is made up of many types of people. Extroverts. Introverts. Logical. Emotional. Fast paced. Slow paced.

I happen to be a logical slow paced kinda person. Here’s an excerpt I found that fits me almost to a T:


  • ISTJ’s are known as the “Examiners” or “Inspectors” of the 16 types.
  • They have a keen sense for right and wrong and they have a strong ability to handle details.
  • They may appear cold and uncaring because of their ability for logic and objectivity.
  • They are decisive and practical when it comes to managing people.
  • You will find them in areas where stability and dependability are more important than creativity.
  • Extremely loyal and dependable, they place a high value on honesty and integrity.
  • They are the good citizens who put duty before pleasure.
  • They won’t allow themselves to relax until they have finished the work planned for that day.
  • Well organized they strongly believe in being on time and not being late.
  • Introverted, realistic, down to earth, logical, disciplined and organized.


Nice list, eh? The problem is I find myself fighting my personality when it comes to loving people (most especially my family). Do you ever struggle with that? Do you struggle when your personality clashes with someone else? Its not sin, its simply a difference in personality. Like phone calls. I hate phone calls. I can’t see the person, I become tongue tied, then that awkward moment of silence comes making me wish the call was over. It has nothing to do with the person on the other side of the line. It’s just me.

On the other hand, there are some of you that love phone calls. You could talk for hours. I’ll admit, I definitely do not understand that nor do I think I ever will. Is one of us right and one of us wrong? Nope. Its just different personalities.

However, there are times I wish I could change who I am. I wish I naturally thought more of people than solutions to problems. I wish I could easily read people and see what they need instead of looking blankly at them when they are hurting (more like the deer in the headlights look).

Lately I’ve been wondering where I fit in the church? Where does a logical, analytical, facts first kind of personality fit in a place that says to love people and put them first? Where does a Martha fit in a Mary world? Sometimes I feel I would be a better Christian if loving people came more naturally to me.

I guess that’s why God says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT). The personality God gave me gives me strengths (perseverance, integrity, the ability to look at a problem intellectually and not emotionally). But it also has its weaknesses (like loving people).

I need God’s strength to love people. I need His example and power. I only need to look at what I would be without God to see how much He has changed me. I can actually say the words “I love you.” I give hugs and kisses. And I feel His Spirit move inside of me, whispering to me, showing me what I naturally would not see in people.

I guess God didn’t make a mistake after all when He made Morgan. This world needs my kind of personality 😛 But I need God to become all that I can be. And that’s a good thing.

By the way, for anyone wondering, Dan is an ENFP (yes, you are seeing correctly, every letter is opposite of mine… goes to show you God had a sense of humor when He put us together lol).


*The website I found the list for ISTJ is http://www.careerplanner.com/MB2/PersonalityType-ISTJ.cfm