I love sweets. What girl doesn’t? So when I found out in 6th grade home economics that our project would be baking cookies, I was ECSTATIC! Anything with chocolate HAS to be good. My teacher put us into groups of four and we began baking. We followed the directions step by step and placed our cookies in the oven. We waited 12 long minutes, anticipating the chocolatey gooeyness that would soon enter our mouths. The timer buzzed and we took out our awesome cookies. We quickly found out that our reading skills weren’t the best though and we had unknowingly forgotten to put in baking soda. So rather than baking cookies, we had baked chocolate pancakes. Well actually, they weren’t even baked chocolate pancakes. Our cookies were flatter than pancakes… But we didn’t care. We dug in and ate those cookies as quickly as possible. They weren’t the best, but they still tasted delicious. However, a few class periods passed by and all of our stomachs began churning. Never again would I bake a cookie the wrong way and never again would I eat a bad cookie.
Our lives are recipes as well. We are made up of different ingredients: ingredients of attitudes, of experiences, of hopes. God has given us a Cookbook to help us sort out the good ingredients from the bad. The Bible gives many tangible stories and words of wisdom, so ultimately we can bring delight rather than stomachaches. By following the directions that He has listed out in the Cookbook, we will rise into the creation He desired for us to be.
Three types of ingredients will ultimately decide what type of creation we will become:
Just as flour, sugar, and eggs are foundational to baking, so are the elements of God’s word, enduring prayer, humble worship, and godly friendships. God has been here from the beginning of time, so He has the perfect recipe. He knows what works and what doesn’t. We must ensure these items remain consistent and blended through our lives so ultimately the Creator will be glorified through the creation.
Therefore, since we (God’s family) receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. – Hebrews 12:28-29
From my cooking experience in Home EC, I quickly learned that the ingredients we put in are just as important as those we leave out. In our own lives, there are ingredients that need to be left out. Some ingredients may actually take away from our purpose.
In college, I loved watching the TV show “The Good Wife,” which focuses on a woman responding to a public scandal where her husband recently cheated on her. In the early seasons of the show, she found ways to love and support her family in the midst of the situation. However, as the series progressed on, she indulged in an affair with a coworker. God convicted me of allowing this into my life. He showed me if I continued to watch this show, the flavor of discontentment would seep into my marriage and open up the option of divorce. I haven’t watched the show ever since.
The ingredients that we put in our lives add flavor to our lives. What flavors are you adding to your life? What flavors should you take away? We must continually allow God to inspect our TV shows, our music, our friendships, our attitudes. Philippians 4:8 becomes a great guideline for us to check ourselves against:
Whatever is partially true/false, whatever is dishonorable, whatever is wrong, whatever is impure, whatever is ugly, whatever is appalling – if anything is mediocre or distasteful – DON’T think about those things. DON’T mix those ingredients into your life.
When baking, there are special last minute touches that define a treat. With a cupcake, the color of the sprinkles defines its purpose. Yellow, red, and blue reveal a festive birthday cupcake while red, green, and white reveal a joyous Christmas cupcake. In the same way, all of us have different gifts that God has given us. We must allow God to brighten the color of our sprinkles so that our difference is noticeable and impacting. Embrace the gifts God has given you and use them to reach the people God has specifically designed for you to reach.
Through the spirit, God gives wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, discernment, the gift of tongues, the gift of interpreting tongues. ALL of these gifts come from God, and He distributes them to every single person, just as he determines (1st Corinthians 12:7-11).
Allow God to sort through the ingredients in your life, sifting out the bad, blending the good, and celebrating the sprinkles.