Hebrews 13:16 – And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Remember Kindergarten? We learned so, many life skills in that, our beginning of the formal education journey. We learned our letters and numbers, how to stand in line and take turns, the days of the week and months of the year. We learned songs and sayings and social skills – some of the greatest hits were:
- keep your hands to yourself
- use kind words
- pass the glue does not mean throw it
- scissors are for paper
- respect other people’s property
- a broken crayon will still color
- you have to share
It’s tough to share, isn’t it? That one’s a life lesson that requires repetition and practice. It doesn’t always come naturally, but it’s fundamental to our relationships. As we get older, the appearance of sharing shifts and changes. But it never becomes less important.
Romans 12:13 – Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
I have a friend who is an amazing hostess. She’s one of those people who anticipates the needs of those who come into her home beautifully, and then executes her hostessing duties with flare. She is gracious and patient and seems to be everywhere at once, asking if anyone needs a refill, making sure her guests are comfortable and serving each person according to his/her needs. It’s impressive to watch and wonderful to experience.
Her home is lovely and well-decorated. She always has food or drinks handy. She’s an engaging conversationalist.
Yet, these aren’t the most outstanding characteristics of her as a hostess. If you read the previous paragraph, my descriptions all center around her capacity to serve others.
True hospitality is service-based, and focuses on the other person’s needs.
It involves creating a safe and comfortable space for our guests, and according them whatever they require: a place to stay, a meal, a listening ear, acceptance, a moment of peace, reassurance, wise counsel….the list is as endless as the people we know.
Do you know someone who is an incredible host or hostess? List some examples of how they exemplify this trait.
Think about the last time you practiced hospitality. Who was there? How did it go? Are there ways you can improve on this?
The other amazing thing about my friend (and most of my inner circle of friends, really), is how well they embody the following:
Galatians 6:2 – Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
I cannot imagine getting through the tough parts of life without a supportive circle to help carry the load. I thank God every day for the amazing friends and family He has placed in my family’s life.
And now I am singing “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends” (shout out to all the Beatles fans out there).
Embracing the truth that we are created to be in community, to be parts of one body, means grasping the fact that we are entwined in the lives of those around us…and as such, we are tasked with reaching out, even when it’s hard or messy or sad.
This is a fundamental truth. It’s why Go Fund Me pages actually work. It’s why we take meals to our neighbor in mourning. It’s why we have fundraisers for families facing scary and expensive diagnoses. It’s why cities rise up in turmoil after atrocities, or unite together during disasters. It’s why we cry with the stories of strangers, or cling tightly to our friend as she sobs.
We are not meant to go it alone. Trying to do so only creates misery.
Think about someone in your life who is gifted at sharing your burdens, who is always there to help lighten the load. Say a brief prayer of thanks for this person.
How can you work towards emulating her/him? What example of their actions sticks out most in your mind?
It doesn’t necessarily take a grand gesture to communicate caring or help lift someone’s spirits. What are some small acts of kindness you can perform today to help ease someone’s strain or make them feel loved?
Write down three goals for sharing and give yourself a timeline to complete them in the next two weeks. You can choose to practice hospitality, or an act of kindness, or a combination of both. Be sure to come back and write out the results once you’ve completed this. How did it affect the people on the other end? What did it do for your heart as well? What fruit did you see as a result?
I’m always amazed at the power of sharing when we get it right.
Solidarity, sisters. It takes all of our crayons to create a rainbow.