“Frodo was now safe in the Last Homely House east of the Sea. That house was, as Bilbo had long ago reported, ‘a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.’ Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear and sadness.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Oh the sting of the truth. I blew it again this weekend even though I’m almost ALWAYS reminding myself to think of others first. I was in a situation where I met a handful of new people and I immediately slid into my default mode of trying to make sure they knew I wasn’t JUST a stay at home mom. Before I had been with them for ten minutes, I’m pretty sure they knew I had a book coming out and was a physician in my former life. I was doing it before I even realized it. It’s just who we all are at our core—so hopelessly self-centered. Immediately, Shauna’s words pricked my conscience and before the night was over, I was able to show interest in them and find out some things about their lives. Maybe one of these days I’ll learn. Perhaps I should revisit my own words on hospitality…
from my ebook 31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality—
We’ve talked a little about what hospitality is and what it is not. We’ve even conceded that we desperately need each other.
But hospitality doesn’t come just because you have a better understanding of what it is.
Hospitality follows closely behind its friend, humility.
C.S. Lewis gave the best definition of humility I’ve heard when he said, ”Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.”
And that may be our biggest barrier to hospitality. We are so often so full of ourselves that there’s no room to welcome anyone else. Our thoughts are so consumed by all the details of our own busy lives that we can’t even find the time to be curious about other people. Humility takes the stance, ”I don’t know you or understand you but I’m willing to empty my heart just a little of myself and welcome you in.”
We come to relationships and even to strangers with such a hidden agenda, one that we don’t even see. We need them to like us, to do something for us, to make us feel a certain way. When it comes right down to it, we manipulate the people in our lives to do what we want them to do. When is the last time you came to a relationship, emptied of yourself, without your own agenda, and sought to know the other person and find out their need? I wish I could say that’s my normal posture but so often, it is not.
Wouldn’t our marriages and our relationships with our kids be different if we weren’t always trying to get our way? It’s called putting yourself in someone else’s shoes—-living in their skin.
And that is the very humility and love that Christ demonstrates toward us.
He comes to us in the humblest of means—by bread, wine, water, and Word, His body broken for our redemption, His blood poured out for our salvation.
I despair this morning that I’m so full of self, that I come to every single relationship ready to plow my way through my own agenda.
But Christ has made the perfect exchange.
He takes on my pride and gives me His humility.
He takes on my lies and gives me His truth.
He takes my sin, death and darkness and gives me life and salvation.
We wear humility and we get a glimpse of what it’s like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
Hospitality is learning to live toward others with His borrowed love, in His perfect humility. He gives us what we don’t have in exchange for what He has in abundance.
Lord, give us Your humility, teach us to give ourselves to others and forgive our stubborn selfishness.
As a thank you for meeting me here so often, I’d like to offer you a free copy of my ebook on hospitality. Maybe it will inspire you or challenge you this week as you welcome people into your home and heart.
To get a pdf or epub file of the book, subscribe to my monthly newsletter, which is going out bright and early in the morning and will direct you to a private landing page on my blog where you’ll have access not only to a free copy of the ebook but to all the archived freebies over the last few months, including two beautiful printables and a menu plan for October, November, and December.
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Also, only a few more days to take advantage of my Young Living November special! Also, be looking for a free webinar (maybe next weekend!) about how we use the oils in our family. Young Living Essential oils have changed everything about how our family manages health and wellness. We are slowly but surely getting off all our OTC and even some of our prescription medications, plus we’re fighting off a host of common fall and winter infections. Read more about it here!