Social media has once again broadened my horizons. It only took one post mentioning the result of a person’s Enneagram number to pique my curiosity. I love taking all the various self-assessments whether it be – personality type, mood type, or color personality. Most of them, I don’t pay much attention to past the first 15 minutes of the initial results reveal. There is one, however, that ranks high on my list of self-assessments. This one, hones in on something a little more. It is the survey of spiritual gifts. I remember taking this survey and quickly tallying up its results. I also remember adding up the different sections knowing which gift I hoped not to be higher than the others.
A Place of Prestige
A moment of sifting took place when I decidedly sought out gifts that were to be seen as most prestigious. My eyes took in those sections labeled “service” or “hospitality” and I ashamedly placed those particular gifts at the bottom. These, I deemed, were the least exciting, the most common, and certainly the least effective forms of ministry. Little did I know that it is often in the unseen moments of serving and in the common acts of hospitality that Christ is most magnified.
I will be the first to admit it, I struggle with the whole “without complaining” piece. A certain dismissive attitude occurs when given the opportunity to serve in the messy or droll places of life. I am prone to grumble when given the opportunity to open my home to those who are outside my level of comfort or if they are encroaching on my time. It is not a gift I am inclined to embrace.
Do you find yourself feeling the same way? Is it easier to send a Facebook message telling someone you are thinking of them rather than inviting them to the table, your table?
Friend, if you are like me, the first place we start – is confession. We come before the Lord and confess our pride and selfish ways. If we were to examine every “no”, there we would likely find a root of sin in it deeply buried. The Lord is faithful not to leave us in our sin. In the place of confession, repentance begins in our heart and it is there that forgiveness happens. Sanctifying. A gift that blesses is also being used to work out my salvation. The believer’s life anthem – to live for His glory and to proclaim Christ to the world. This means we need to start living and proclaiming in the places of the world where we are at now with joy and without a grumbling heart.
For His Glory
Where we can live out self-sacrifice for the glory of God is where He will meet us and refine us.
God’s glory happened when there was an open door to the woman who was infringing upon my Netflix time. He was glorified in the making of a meal for a family in need when I could barely find time to throw together dinner in my own home. The glory was all to God when my germ-conscious self desperately tried not to cringe at the snotty nose child running amuck in my home while his mother was being discipled. Christ was meeting me and being shone through me in all these moments. Something bigger and better than my own plans and expectations transpired when I surrendered and embraced this gift. He was working in and through me.
God was brought glory by people in my own life who extended gifts of service to me and my family. His provision was feIt when meals were delivered after coming home with a new baby from the hospital. He showed Himself near when the one who brought a plate of cookies took my hands in hers and together we offer up tear-stained words of praise and petition. None of these things were convenient and nothing with young children around is easy, but people poured into and continue to pour into my life – each time bringing God glory. These moments built and grew my faith.
Leaning into Undeserved Grace
Believers, leaning into hospitality means that we are leaning into the undeserved grace of Christ. An undeserved grace that has met us and continues to meet us. This place of grace becomes the well where our hospitality drinks from and it is the platter from where all we have to offer is served. It is really a reflection of our gift of grace when we serve others and strengthen their faith through something as beautiful as hospitality. In all the God-glorifying gifts we are given – may we be good stewards of such a wondrous gift as that one which seeks to serve.