This certain Mary of Rome is mentioned only once by Paul in Romans 16:6 which reads:
Greet Mary, who labored much for us.
It is clear from the verse above that Mary was a hard worker in the early church, but what she did and the things she worked at are not given to us. Some say she was exceeding useful in encouraging the ministers of the Gospel, and in promoting the interest of Christ. Others say she had a teaching role or was an evangelist or a founding member of the church of Rome. We don’t know for certain; but whatever she did, Mary’s labor was important and Paul acknowledged it in his epistle to the Romans. We can follow the example of Mary of Rome in how we work every day.
1. Mary of Rome was a hard worker. As believers, all of the work that we do should be done for God. Whether it is actual ministry work, babysitting, washing cars, school assignments or sports practice, everything that we do should be done to the best of our ability. God is both pleased and glorified when we accomplish things with honesty and excellence. God gave us six days to work and one day to rest. If we want to succeed, we all have to work and the Bible gives us several ways of how we should do it.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.” – Ecclesiastes 9:10
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” – Colossians 3:23
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58
Sometimes, our work is hard and we may feel like not finishing a job. But if we remember that our labors do not go unnoticed by God, we can receive the strength to keep going. Do not work to be promoted by your boss or praised by the teacher. Work as if God is watching everything you do, because He is. And when you think about quitting, know that your hard work is not in vain.
Just like Paul acknowledged Mary of Rome for her hard work, if we are faithful and diligent in the tasks we have been given, God will acknowledge us too. And we won’t have to work forever. This earth is only temporary. One day, there will be a new heaven and a new earth where we will be able to lay down our tools and rest in the presence of God.