Gifted People

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I got really bitter about feeding people last summer. I had been hosting a weekly event for friends that included dinner and while I would talk about how I was glad people felt so comfortable in my home that they felt they could be an hour late, fall asleep on my couch, not RSVP, or bring friends, what I meant was my friends were driving me crazy by showing up an hour late, falling asleep mid party, not RSVP-ing and bringing friends so I didn’t know who to cook for.
I changed the event and ended up passing the responsibility of it on to another friend and am glad to say it is still a weekly event even though I wore myself out on it.
This last week we had a sermon at church about loving others like Christ loved the church. It was not very convicting to me until the teacher started talking about how we are to use the gifts God has given us to love each other- like Christ loves the church.
You might recall the story about how Christ died, suffered hell, and then rose and went to be by God the Fathers side to intervene on our behalf. While I was excited to host people and feed them and use my “gifts” of hospitality, I was in no way willing to use them to take me to death for my friends. I was far too selfish for that! I wanted to host people and in return I wanted them to praise me for how beautiful a job I was doing, I wanted them to notice how well I was loving them, I wanted them to be in awe of my open home and gracious nature.
My friends are kind, loyal, grateful people and they often told me how much my open home and the weekly event meant to them. But they also committed the normal, every day faux pas mentioned above and I could not forgive them.
I was full of paradoxes, wanting everyone completely at home at my place and yet not wanting them falling asleep there. Having my home open to these people I cared about and getting grumpy when they brought a friend in need of the same generosity.
So I encourage you this week to do what I have had to begin; to look at your gifts and your abilities and see how you can actually use them gracefully. Not for your own fulfillment and encouragement but to create a better community, to deeper relationships, and to show love to those around you. Even if it means you suffer frustration and disappointments from those you are trying to love.