At our Men’s Breakfast this morning, the New Testament passage was Luke 10: 38-42:
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a]Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
We got to talking about the Marthas (doers) and the Marys (observers), and one of the more humorous things said was that ‘if we didn’t have Marthas, we’d never have Marys. Or if we didn’t have the Martha type, then we’d have no food to eat, roads to drive on, and so on.
But one thing struck me: Martha had ceased to listen to Christ. Instead, she chose to get upset and argue.
It was at this point that one of our group who had been in Management, and so had facilitated and participated in many different labor and union negotiations, chimed in: “It’s a known fact that when you get angry or emotional, the blood leaves your brain and goes elsewhere in your body. Any time I saw emotions start to get out of control, I stopped everything and sent everybody home to come back the next morning. When you get emotional, you lose significant, significant, reasoning power. And it’s at that point that I know we’ll never get anywhere. For today, at least.”
So when you start to argue, you stop listening.
We admitted that we all know people who like to argue, some of them just for the fun of disagreeing. And when we got to thinking about it, we realized that these type of people tend to be the most hard-headed among those we know, and, in an interesting twist, this type of person often tends not to be too much fun to be around.
Now that made for an early-morning attitude check.