Daily Bible Reading for Wednesday, January 24th:

How Do We Decide What is “Better?”

Christ in the House of Mary and Martha - 1618 - Diego Velázquez (1599–1660)

Christ in the House of Mary and Martha – 1618 – Diego Velázquez (1599–1660)

Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best. – John C. Maxwell

I’ve got to say ‘no’ to the good so I can say ‘yes’ to the best. – Zig Ziglar

John Maxwell and Zig Ziglar, experts on leadership and motivation, both use(d) this quote extensively. Many others can be cited using the same idea with Google and a little time.

The basic idea is that most wildly successful people achieved extraordinary things because they were able to say the simple word ‘no’ on a routine basis. It doesn’t seem very intuitive, but the concept is simple:

There is not enough time to address most, much less all, of the worthy needs that request our attention throughout our life.

In Luke 4:42-44, we see Jesus having to make the same kind of decision:

Lots of people wanted Jesus to stay in Capernaum to teach and heal them. (We also know that many there did not accept him – Matthew 11:23-24) It would have been easy for Jesus to stay right there until all were healed and he had won over all the nonbelievers.

Certainly there was disappointment whenever Jesus moved on, but the best use of his short time demanded that he …

…must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also – Luke 4:43

A little Later in the Gospel of Luke, (Luke 10:38-42) we see Jesus demonstrating this again with Mary and Martha. Martha was busy with “the good”, Mary chose “the best.”

It is a very common mistake, especially in the context of our church participation, to get caught up in the programs. There are programs to feed the poor, care for the elderly, visit the sick – all excellent ideas – helpful and loving ideas. But we see Jesus often stop short of being helpful and loving in favor of teaching.

He pointed out sins …

He informed the lost of their condition …

Sometimes he passed through towns without healing anybody …

Using Jesus’ example, we know we need to get to work – but choose wisely!

Doing good work is a key part of our faith, (James 2:26) but our primary and first instruction is to teach and save the lost. (Matthew 28:18-20) This is the assessment we should make every time we are asked to commit to something “good.”



About Butch Adams

In addition to writing this blog and contributing elsewhere, I have served as elder and deacon in the various places I have worshiped. In these duties, I have concentrated my attention on the area of education - both in outreach to seekers through the Internet and inside the congregations for ongoing Bible scholarship. Comments and thoughts about referenced material in the article above are Copyright 2018 by Butch Adams . Any referenced material belongs to its owners and every attempt has been made to use it according to their wishes.

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