The term hospitality carries a lot of weight with it, doesn't it? We've been tossing it around in conversation, and sometimes it has positive connotation and sometimes it's just heavy.
We've considered that there are several factors that weigh into making it either heavy or light. Usually it depends on other circumstances going on around us and our capacity level, but lately and personally I've been convicted of pride.
I wouldn't usually consider myself a prideful person, but the Lord has been revealing to me that this is sometimes the root of the heavy tension I often experience that revolves around letting people into my life. What does this look like, you ask?
Pride causes me to keep a tight grip on all the plates I have spinning at once. It causes me to keep tightly closed fists on all that I have instead of open hands surrendering to the Lord. It tells me that I can keep the plates spinning all on my own, even though I can't. It keeps me from seeing the truth that if I would just let Him and others help me, I would experience greater joy and freedom.
Pride especially tells me to hide and pretend. Relationally, it manifests in the spaces that those that love me want to support me in and keeps me from humbly accepting grace. It keeps others out, simply because I don't want to admit I need help, or because I have this egotistical attitude that I will only accept help or support if I can repay it.
This doesn't represent Jesus at all, and this prideful attitude keeps me from sharing my table.
While I love to host friends for get-togethers or share a meal, the value of hospitality is in sharing life, which requires vulnerability. I'm learning (slowly because I'm hard headed) that really sharing life this way is the most satisfying. Humbly opening up and sharing my weaknesses allows light to be shed on darkness and allows relationships to deepen.
We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Sometimes sharing our table feels scary because we don't have the perfect meal to present to our guests, we're not prepared, or really need groceries! A resource we love is the Thriving Home Blog. They have meal ideas -- including 101 Freezer Crockpot Meals and Weekly Meal Plans. And, to help make your table inviting, we have a Shared Table Collection in our shop. So many helpful tools to help us share Jesus around our tables.