2 Kings 22, 23; Galatians 6

Sometime in my thirties when I got serious about following the Lord, I wondered what my spiritual gift was. Pastors from pulpits said every believer has at least one. I took some online tests. Depending on the day and my mood, I ranked higher in some places than others, but I didn’t feel like I had a definite gift. So I didn’t really do much as far as service went.

As a parent, I read the book The Five Love Languages of Children, and I figured a child’s love language probably mirrored an adult’s. I don’t remember all the love languages, even though there were only five, but I recognized the language(s) my family spoke, and mine: time spent with others. I soon realized that spending time with others was a close sister to hospitality–and things that I was already doing. I looked for opportunities to open heart and home to others.  My house became the weekly meeting spot for playdates and (sometimes) book clubs, and holiday gatherings. When I figured out how I was wired, and its gifting from the Lord, I poured intention into it. Time spent together is chatting a friend while we push our kids on the swings in the back yard. It’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on paper plates, us standing around the kitchen island while littles buzz around our feet. It’s a cup of coffee with a neighbor. Or a kitchen explosion of contents for an impromptu friends-of-family dinner.

It’s how I say I love you, however fanciful or plain. If he had gifted me musically, why wouldn’t I sing? If he had gifted me otherwise, why would I hide?

I pour myself into the service, and whether the cookies are homemade or store bought–it doesn’t matter. Isn’t it always what’s in the heart? The place where God knows us, where he sees beauty. Not from outward appearances.

I have sometimes faced criticism for my efforts–and it quenches when another would mock time and intention as an attempt for superiority–when it was an invitation to be loved. Rejection and mockery made me not want to be so bold–but then good sense intervenes: God wired me this way–to love in this manner. I want my actions to be pleasing to him. I am responsible for my own conduct.

Do not get tired of doing what is good.

Courtney (66books365)

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah from Bozkath. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right. 2 Kings 22:1-2 NLT

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Galatians 6:4-5 NLT.

Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:8-9

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3 Comments

Filed under 2 Kings, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Galatians, New Testament, Old Testament

3 responses to “2 Kings 22, 23; Galatians 6

  1. I read this verse today and thought about you:)
    “Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.” 1 Peter 4:9-10

  2. Ditto, Amy! Courtney, the gift of hospitality is a working gift and a humble gift. Working because it takes much thought, planning, physical labor, and extraordinary coordinating to pull off well (which you do!). Humble because opening one’s home is a vulnerable act of trusting the invited into the privacy of your being. You expose your interests, abilities, experiences, and even vanities to those you love, those you know, and even to strangers you have prayed into your circle of trust. I know many people who would shudder at the thought of laying bare their lives. Yet, you delight in inviting us to glimpse your world while feasting on the gracious offerings from your obedience to God’s gifting in you for us.

  3. Janet: I do delight! I really hope anyone would look at their gift and delight in it. Bold evangelism makes me uneasy–but God gifts others to do that. And if someone handed me a microphone and told me to lead worship, well, it would be disappointing! I hope everyone would take their gift and let God shine through them.

    The world, and even other believers, might condemn us and make us ashamed of our giftings because they don’t understand. They call out “prideful”, “vain”, “show-off.” To anyone who has faced that type of criticism, I hope they would be encouraged to not hide their gift, but to live life boldly in the way they are wired. Like a favorite necklace given on a birthday, show your gift and enjoy it.

    Janet and Amy, thank you, both, for kind words and encouragement. It helps me, when I want to gift a homemade jam to a new neighbor, I can step out in faith, instead of past fear that someone will think unkindly of me when I’m offering an invitation to love.

    Courtney

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