Your Ability Doesn't Define You

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I am not domestically inclined. Keeping house has never been my "thing." The meals I put on the table are serviceable, but they're certainly not gourmet. I buy my children's clothes once they've been made by somebody else; the last garment I made was a pair of sweat pants, which I made in home economics in 8th grade (it was a required course), for which I got a C. My kids will never confuse me with Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker (that's their grandmother).

I have dear friends whose highest education consists of obtaining a high school diploma. I have other precious friends who have a disability, while still others lack financial means.

In other words, some of the people I know well (including myself) have limited abilities or resources in an area of life that's important or valued by the world.

You may feel that you're a part of this group—that your limitations mean that you are "less than" in some way. And this may be true—for you, for me, for anyone—as far as the world is concerned.

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But fortunately for all of us who experience limitations, God's not concerned with what the world thinks of our abilities. In fact, He seems to specialize in choosing foolish and weak people even above the wise and strong (see 1 Cor. 1:27). What He cares about is not how you measure up by the world's standards, but whether your heart is fully devoted to Him.

Take, for example, Peter and John. Two of Jesus' dearest friends, they weren't well-educated. In fact, Peter was a fisherman—not an occupation for which he would have had to have the equivalent of a college degree. But when these two apostles stood before the rulers and elders of the Jews and testified to who Jesus was and how He had healed a man, they astonished those who heard them.

Why? Because these educated leaders knew that Peter and John were uneducated. The ESV uses the word "common." Peter and John were nobody special by the world's standards. Yet they amazed all those who listened. And Scripture tells us that the only conclusion the leaders could draw was that in order for Peter and John to do what they did, they must have been with Jesus.

That's the kind of person I want to be—a person who has obviously been with Jesus. I want people to be amazed not at my abilities but at what Jesus has done in my life. When people look at me, I want them to know I've been with the Lord; I don't care whether or not they know how many degrees I have.

So yes, I'd love to be better at domestic things, especially since God has called me at this time in my life to be a homemaker and stay-at-home mom. But maybe the fact that I don't have very much natural ability in this area allows Jesus to shine through me better and receive the glory for any successes I have in a way that wouldn't be the case if I were naturally talented in homemaking.

The fact that your education stopped after high school, or that you have a disability, or that you lack finances, means nothing against you, but rather that Jesus has the opportunity to shine brighter through you than He would otherwise.

But here's the catch—in order for Him to shine through us, we have to be with Him. The religious leaders knew that Peter and John had been with Jesus because He was shining through their lack of ability and education. This wouldn't have been the case if they hadn't been with Him.

Nor is it the case with us. In order for people to know that we've been with Jesus, we have to, well, be with Him. Sounds obvious, but often we neglect the means of being with Him. We don't have a regular devotional time. We don't attend church regularly. We don't pray or seek Christian fellowship. Yes, His Spirit dwells in us if we're Christians. But He won't shine through if we're not paying attention or making it a point to communicate with Him.

So don't be down on yourself because of your inabilities. Instead of feeling "less than" because you believe you're unskilled at something, look at your weaknesses as opportunities for people to know you've been with Jesus as He shines through you.

Be with Him—and He will, indeed, shine through.

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus" (Act 4:13, ESV).

Adapted from Megan Breedlove's blog, Manna for Moms. Megan is the author of Well Done, Good and Faithful Mommy and Manna for Moms: God's Provision for Your Hair-Raising, Miracle-Filled Mothering Adventure (Regal Books.) She is also a blogger and a stay-at-home mom with five children.

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