I loved Spiritual Gifts tests growing up. You remember the ones. Maybe it’s because I am a girl and I always liked to take those cheesy tests like, “What Season are You?”, “What Type of Girl are You…Plain Jane, or Sassy Sarah?”. Now, I’m not saying Spiritual Gifts Tests are necessarily cheesy but really, can you know what your Holy Spirit given gift is by answering 50 questions? I remember always wanting to score really high on the evangelism part. Now that is a great spiritual gift! Not all that “acts of mercy” “gift of service” stuff. I’m realizing now that the local church and brothers and sisters in Christ are really the ones to help determine someone’s spiritual gift.
I remember distinctively being in East Asia and hosting a “Halloween” party for the missionary kids on our team. Joanna and I dressed up to join in the festivities. I loved having them over, providing snacks and entertainment. I also remember about my time there that I (generally) loved having the high school students drop in whenever just to hang out, talk, or practice English. At the time Matt and I weren’t even engaged but I remember thinking that if we got married I wanted our home to be a refuge, a place for anyone and everyone to feel comfortable at home and welcome. That is just as a part of ministry as evangelism. In fact, hospitality often opens the door to gospel encounters.
Now that I am a wife with a home of my own, I have loved putting that dream into action. I recently read about Sarah Edwards and the impact she was able to have on so many people just by opening her home. I may not be a Sarah Edwards but I want those same principles to be in place in the Tyler home.
In the past week or so, I have seen some incredible pictures of generosity and hospitality towards those that the hosts don’t even really know. But I know that God is going to use those acts of love for His ultimate glory.
Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
Some people are naturally gifted with a love of hospitality. Still for others, it doesn’t come easy. The point of this verse isn’t just to those with the “gift” but to everyone that possesses the love of Christ. Sometimes I wish I had more time to devote to opening my home, or sometimes I fret over the lack of space we have, or my cooking skills. I do struggle to keep the house clean and have on a few occasions apologized about its state when someone happens to stop by. But I remember Mrs. Mohler telling us “up and coming” minister’s wives that it doesn’t ultimately matter what our home looks like. What does matter is the warmth the home conveys, the love that goes forth from it, and the care and attention of the person hosting.
Some of our sweetest moments since being in Seminary have been when we had friends over from church or from school where we just sit around and share our stories or play games and laugh a lot. Those are precious times that we will treasure forever as we continue to deepen those relationships. I know that these times with like minded friends will continue to make me a better host and servant for the times in ministry where I will have to open my home to the lost, lonely, and hurting. And I want to do that.
The Holy Spirit gives us our gifts to better serve the Church. And although hospitality is a gift listed on the test that you can either rank really high in and rejoice or really low in and rejoice, we all have a responsibility to be hospitable and show the love of Christ to others. And I think we receive as much joy in being hospitable as others get from receiving our service. It’s summer time! Let our homes be cheerfully open and sunshiny warm for others!