Only One Thing: A Postscript to Messy Faith

il_570xN.447507895_do38I just wanted to post a few follow-up thoughts to my blogpost, “Messy Faith” that I posted last week.

As I thought about it more, I think it would have been better to title it, “Faithful In a Little” or “Faithfulness, Not Perfection” just because it more clearly sums up what I was trying to convey in my post.

Jesus says in Luke 16:10, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a little thing is dishonest in much.”

How we handle the little things in life often reveals the true character of our hearts. As we grow in our intimacy with God and dependance upon Him, we will grow in our faithfulness in both the big areas of life and the smallest details.

Also, I just wanted to reiterate that I do think the DIY and Pinterest culture is a neat thing!  I love when I have an idea and I’m able to look it up online and gain further inspiration.  It seems that there has been a return to domesticity among women through the sharing and collecting of ideas on the Internet. It’s a great way to encourage one another to not only be caretakers of our home, but seek to make it beautiful.

It’s interesting to focus in on the details of the creation of man and woman in Genesis 2. While Adam was formed out of dirt and later placed by God in the garden, Eve’s creation was different. She was created from Adam in an already flourishing garden of perfection (Genesis 2:7-8, 15, 21-22).

It’s as if from our very beginning, we were wired for beauty.

I do believe that cultivating a desire to make things beautiful and “from scratch” and “homey” is a very good thing. It’s a way that we express love to our family and those around us. It’s part of who we are.

But our temptation, and I think this is especially true for us as younger women, is to get caught up in those things. Instead of being like Mary who sat at the feet of Jesus, we are often like Martha, running around frantically trying to make everything just right.

It would probably do us good to replace Martha’s name with ours when Jesus rebuked her, “__________, __________, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:41).”

I love how John MacArthur explains these verses: “Martha was evidently fussing about with details that were unnecessarily elaborate. “

The point that I understand from this passage is not that we should quit doing housework or hosting dinners in our home. What Jesus draws into the light is that while Martha was scurrying around and stressed out, Mary had an attitude of worship and meditation. Her heart was open to Jesus’ words and His teaching.  She was focused on Christ, not the extra “unnecessarily elaborate” details.

This truth hit home for me a couple years ago when I was making meals for people (those who had just had a baby or were sick, etc) in our church.  I had a desire to make the most amazing “from scratch” meals. I would devote hours into making a meal. I told myself that I was doing it for them. But after I would deliver a meal, I would be absolutely exhausted. I started dreading the thought of serving others in this way. One time, my mom came over in one such flurry of “godly” productivity and said, “You know, GraceAnna, the meal doesn’t have to be so elaborate.”

And that’s when it hit me. I wasn’t doing all this for them. I was doing it for me. I was placing a standard of “perfection” on myself that was not required. I wasn’t worshipping Christ, I was worshipping little miss meal maker.

Now, there are women who can make an elaborate meal in the busyness of life and worship Christ fully while doing it. But God showed me that in my season of life with very small children, it was not good for me or my family.

I wasn’t striving for faithfulness, I was striving for perfection.

I still make meals for people. But I have one or two simple but still delicious meals that I make and I find great joy in doing it. I recently made a meal for a family and they wanted the recipe for the “amazing” chocolate chip cookies I delivered.

It was a simple answer: “break n bake.”

Whether married, unmarried, kids or no kids, we are bombarded with messages that tell us that we need to buy and create more things in order to be satisfied. But that’s not what Jesus says, “One thing is necessary.”

What’s the one thing? A heart that worships Jesus.

As young women, in all that we do and create, may we worship Him.  May our lives and homes be a reflection of the love we have for Christ so that others, especially our husband and children feel that love. They know that all the little things we do (whether made from scratch or not)  is out of a heart that longs for the one thing.

And when our best attempts fail, and we realize we have been trying to live by our Pinterest page rather than the truth of God’s Word, we let go of the unnecessarily elaborate details, and remind ourselves what the Maker of all good things says: “One thing is necessary.”

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