Intriguing word. It literally means “to be divided” or “distracted.” . . .
We find a perfect illustration of this in the story of Mary and Martha recorded in Luke 10:38–42.
Taking a minute to look into their little abode, we find that Martha is distracted, anxious. Jesus is sitting down talking, and Mary is sitting at His feet, enjoying His presence, . . . and His teachings.
But not Martha. She is busy back in the kitchen getting everything ready for a big meal. In good womanly fashion she is making everything match, everything fit, everything come out of the oven at just the right time . . . .
But Jesus wanted her to come and sit down beside her sister and listen. It wasn’t that He didn’t appreciate her efforts. He just wanted her to serve a simple dish so they could make the most of their time together . . . .
Her anxiety was distracting her from more important things. Worry always does that.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.