Reveling in Weakness Isn’t Reveling in Christ

“Pop!” An explosive sound came from the microwave behind me. I turned around in time to see my sister open the microwave door to a mess of scrambled egg and shells all over the inside of the microwave.

“What did you do?” I asked in wonderment.

“You said to put a whole egg in the microwave to cook it.” my sister responded.

I had not realized what an Amelia Bedelia she was in the kitchen! I assumed she would think to crack the egg into a bowl before putting it in the microwave. But I guess that didn’t occur naturally to her. So was the plight of my sister in the kitchen.

In general, my sister did not have a knack for home-making. She struggled figuring out recipes, and her personal touches in her baking and cooking, often ended up being more like science experiments gone wrong. She was sloppy, and unmotivated to clean or straighten up. My sister liked things neat, but was also at perfect peace in a space that was not neat. She could take a nap beside a pile of unfolded laundry without feeling any urgency to fold it for a few days. She and I both felt her homemaking future was dismal. She often told me that she knew it was not her gift. She accepted that. I accepted that. And so life went on.

My sister, went to Bible college, met, and married a man called to minister. She is now a pastor’s wife and mother of three. Due to her husband’s work, my sister’s world is full of hospitality, food, and an ever revolving door to her home. Her husband, like most pastors, is a busy, stressed, and always on-call. He relies heavily on his wife to manage the home and prepare food for the family and ever present guests.

A few years ago, my sister chatted with me on the phone and made the comment that she was convicted by her pride in her lack of skill cooking and home-making! I was taken back by her comment because I didn’t see pride in her Ramen noodle dinners.

“Oh yes!” She she said. She had been in a conversation with some ladies and realized they were all reveling in the fact they could not cook. They were enjoying making fun of their shortcomings. She realized, she enjoyed flaunting her inability to cook.

She assured me, that the humble thing to do, would be to seek home-making help and learn how to bake, cook, clean, grocery shop, and manage her household better. She saw that she would be able increase her ability to minister to her husband, family, and others if if she could improve herself. So she read books, asked advice, and became a humble learner.

Through her testimony, I see the gospel. The gospel is a poor, destitute, human, who, not only sees the failures and sin of his or her heart, but seeks help from the Savior to redeem and sanctify. The gospel, is realizing one’s complete inability to change and embracing Christ, the ONLY ONE who can bring forgiveness and a changed heart.

It takes a humble person to ask for help. I find it easy to make light of the areas I fail, and sadly, I can even consider the acceptance of my shortcomings virtuous. Reveling in my inabilities is not a virtue. Pride blinds me to areas I need to change in my life, if I can get past the pride to see my need of change, then even more humbling, I need to seek help from the Lord and other believers in my inability to bring about growth in my life in areas I am weak.

Yes, flaws, sin, in-capabilities are part of who we are as human. But the gospel is where we find freedom. In Christ, there is forgiveness of sins, power to change, and even direction on how to get from here to someone who can better glorify God. As women, God not only provides the Holy Spirit, Scripture, husbands, and elders in our church to aid us in our sanctification, but God has instilled and knows the value of relationships and practical solutions in our lives as women. In Titus 2, Paul asks older women to also help those who are younger in their journey. God is gracious to give Th so much help given to those of us women who flounder in specific areas of our lives. “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Titus 2:3-5. Our struggles in marriage, children, home-making, attitude, bad habits, control, emotions, addictions, all can be faced and changed through the gospel as we seek the help and wisdom from older, godly women. We are not alone! In our culture, church is a great place to start finding that help, but books and internet can also be a good source of direction. And as older women, we do not have to be perfect in every area of life to aid those in need. We can even share mistakes we have made, and prevent others from following a miserable path we took.

My dear sister began a journey to build home-making, cooking, and hospitality skills quite a few years ago. She sought advice, read books, and became a humble learner on subjects she had previously closed her mind toward. Now my sister can cook a delicious meal without breaking into a sweat of fear. In fact, she hosts church and family dinners in her home several times a week. She would probably still say that cooking does not come naturally to her, and she probably still has some crazy turnouts in her kitchen. But what has changed is her heart on the matter. Instead of being prideful of her inability, she has taken refuge in God’ strength and humbly seeks help as needed.

My sister was right. It is my pride, that prevents me from humbly seeking help and changing. If I do not acknowledge my weakness and seek help to change, I do not allow God’s strength to be glorified through my weakness. I simply live with my weakness and carry on unchanged. My goal in life is to bring God glory in all I do. That is my purpose from creation.

Through my sister’s weakness in the kitchen, I see God’s strength. God always seems to call me to do what I am unable to do. But through that inability, He keeps me resting in His strength. He keeps me humbly asking for help. And because of my shortcomings, God can be glorified, instead of me, myself, and I, glorying in what I am able to do without relying on Christ and seeking help. It is all because of Him!

“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” I Corinthians 1:1-26