What is your weakness?
Be honest, what is your weakness?
For some people it is chocolate, eating, shoes, computer gaming, reading romance novels?
Wasting time? Procrastination?
Social media? Television? Soap operas?
I knew a lady who would spend all day at the shopping centre wandering from shop to shop. I couldn't imagine anything worse and what a waste of time. However, with online shopping we can now virtually wander from shop to shop and spend hours and money buying things all from the comfort of our homes. Our weakness no longer requires a car trip or much effort.
Of course there are some very damaging and dangerous weaknesses that harm others — gambling, pornography, alcohol, drugs, affairs.
Whilst my weaknesses are not in the same league as those dangerous ones listed above, any weakness can get out of control all too easily. Before you know it, you have run up huge debts and drowning in shoes or clothes or whatever the weakness is.
Therefore it is important to acknowledge one's weakness and take control rather than loose control. I have three weaknesses: buying fabric, books and clothes. I often tell myself, just one more dress or just one more yard of fabric and then I won't buy any more — of course, that never happens.
There is nothing wrong with buying myself an occasional treat, such as a nice book — but it is important to keep tabs on these purchases. Are you buy something ever couple of days or do you limit yourself to once a fortnight or month? With any good budgeting plan, one should always pay the bills first and treats come last. It is more important to have food in the house than spoiling one's self — I know this is commonsense but you might be surprised at how many people struggle with this basic budgeting concept.
To control one of my weaknesses—books, I now borrow almost all my books from the library — my library has all the new releases, including DVDs and rarely do I have trouble finding a particular book. I can also ask my library to purchase a book which is very nice of them. I borrow from friends and family and this way, I have even less reason to buy. I am a big second hand book buying, Abe booksellers are an excellent source of cheap second-hand books as they source their books from around the world. For those in Australia, you are probably familiar with the twice annual Lifeline book fair, another source of cheap books.
Does God overlook our weaknesses?
The simple answer is no, God does not overlook our weaknesses. He is fully aware of them and knows our struggles with temptation — Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41).
God wants us to overcome our weaknesses as our appetite for comforts and pleasures can easily become our master and hinder us in our spiritual walk. When you are so busy spending money, how much time do you have to pay attention to God.
Even Paul struggle with his weaknesses as we can see in Romans 7: 23-25, we are not alone — But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Overcoming our weaknesses.
Battling our weaknesses is indeed a battle that needs to be won. We need to take control and change our focus. However this can be far more difficult than it sounds and often we cannot do it alone. We may need to ask for help from friends and family or even seek out professional help. For some, it might require a lifetime of monitoring to avoid slipping back into old ways.
Note that one of the nine fruits of the Spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) and even though it is the last of the spiritual fruits mentioned by Paul, self-control is clearly an indispensable attribute of the Christian life, especially as our unredeemed flesh sometimes causes us to succumb to the persistent tug of our sinful desires.
Most importantly, we need to want to change, we need to understand why we need to change and we can only do this through prayer and time alone with God. Because only God can give us the strength we need to win the battle — But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Overcoming our weaknesses will take time, baby steps for some, we may even slip back into old ways, but as long as we keep moving forward we will overcome our weaknesses. Any plan must be realistic and one that can be kept. We need to be honest and accountable for our actions which means our husbands need to be full involved (and supportive). A strategy needs to formulated to win the battle — this might mean cutting up the credit card, putting a stop emails from stores promoting sales that pester you to buy, limit pocket money, restricting social media time etc... However, it is important to acknowledge milestones and celebrate when achievements are made.
Winning the battle doesn't mean I can no longer buy fabric, books or clothes, rather it means buying when I really need these things rather than satisfy my wants and desires.