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.
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. 2 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
4 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.
8 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. 9 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