In my family I’m known for driving my car on fumes – going as long and as far as I possibly can without actually running out of gas. I seem to have an uncanny ability to drive my car that holds 15 gallons of gas, 15.8 gallons worth of miles.
I’m also prone to stretching my “tank” when it comes to hospitality. If I don’t first fill up with a Jesus heart and perspective, although I keep going, I notice 3 things can happen:
- It becomes about the externals – appearances, logistics, food…This can promote pride, or discouragement, neither of which please God.
- I am more focused on tasks than on being present to the people in my home.
- I am anxious because I want to be in control instead of letting the Spirit guide.
Most of us are super familiar with the story of Mary and Martha, but take another look.
Luke 10:38-42 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary,who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Ask yourself: What are you worried or upset about? Open your hands and give those things to Jesus.
Just a few thoughts about this passage to keep things in perspective:
- Note, we tend to bash Martha and praise Mary for being so spiritual, but if Martha doesn’t open her home, Mary doesn’t have a place to sit and listen to Jesus.
- Jesus admonished Martha for being “worried and upset”, not for serving.
- Martha did what was expected of women. Mary did what was expected of men (sitting at the feet of a teacher). Jesus broke down the wall that divided men and women.
- “Mary has chosen…” We always have choices! If it’s a choice between Jesus and jobs, choose Jesus first.
To neighbor well we need to fill up first.
- Picture you car dashboard with the gas gauge. Do you feel spiritually, physically, emotionally full or empty? Somewhere in between? What changes is it possible for you to make in order to fill up? Is there a spiritual practice that might help? Consider joining me on Facebook Live at noon CST Monday to hear more about a resource I’m offering.
- Walk through your home praying – dedicate each room to the Lord’s purposes.
I’d love to see and hear your responses throughout this challenge – in the comments or on Instagram, or Facebook! Use the hashtag #neighboring. (Follow on Instagram or like the FB page if you want it to show up in your feed)