Share Your Skill

Do you make the best cinnamon rolls ever, the kind your family begs for at holidays?
Can you tile a backsplash with the best?
Is your pantry an thing of beauty, organized and labelled?
Does your garden have enough prize-winning produce to feed your family and the neighbors?
Do numbers flow easily for you, and you love making a budget?

With what skill have you been gifted? There are many possible, big and small.

Who could benefit from that skill? There is probably someone around you that would be blessed.

Sharing with others has a number of benefits:

  • The woman described in Proverbs 31 had a wide variety of skills, which she used to bless her family and community. What she knew how to do flowed out of her and enriched those around her. You can do the same thing with what you know.
  • We are stronger together. When you share what you know with someone else, you are making their plans stronger. You are also investing in a stronger relationship through that sharing, which makes for a stronger church, community, or family.
  • Sharing a needed skill with someone else is a way to love your neighbor. Who has a bathroom in need of TLC, but the budget doesn’t quite match the need? What about when the labor cost is handled with a new skill, learned from a friend?
  • This kind of mentoring can help you obey Titus 2:3-4. If you are old enough to have gained a valuable skill, there is probably someone younger who can benefit from it as they grow in godliness.
  • And we haven’t even mentioned the simple joy of being together and  getting something special, and/or needed, done. It’s fun! I have both experienced that kind of fun and watched it happen.

So, please, please look for opportunities to share your knowledge with someone else. Invest in a good thing. The more we all do this, the more we all benefit.

Suffering from Isolation

“On a very practical level, human beings just fundamentally have a better chance of surviving in social and familial groups than in isolation,” says a Forbes article.

Most of us would not argue the basic sense in that statement. But how well is that reflected in our daily lives?

Surgeon General Murthy, referencing his practice in Boston, said that the most common illness he saw “was not heart disease or diabetes, but it was isolation. It was social disconnection.”

There are multiple factors in our culture’s increasing trend toward isolation, and it is so easy to drift that way without realizing it. How often do we catch ourselves absorbed in our phones in a group of friends? How many days are full of tasks and productivity without any meaningful interaction with all the people we saw, sometimes even our family members? How many good friends do you have, who know your daily life — good, bad, and ugly?

One beauty in loving our neighbors is that it is so good for us AND our neighbor. We need each other. Not just the help with a flat tire, but we also need the relationship. Conversations on the front porch, a daily phone call to an elderly family member or friend, and shared meals all improve our physical and emotional well-being, as well as our spiritual fitness.

God’s wisdom is amazing! Love your neighbor today.

 

Created to Serve

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14

God has set His children free! Glorious truth that is!

But that freedom is not the freedom of an unsupervised toddler, free to touch and play and wander at will. We as Christians are called to use our liberty for love. Our life’s purpose of loving God and loving our neighbor will involve serving each other — not just doing whatever we want.

We can serve in so many ways. It will take wisdom to know how to serve each day, since the opportunities are endless.

  • Serve your husband by running the two errands he asked, instead of getting all your tasks for the day done before saying, “Oops, I just didn’t get to that. Maybe another day.”
  • Serve your neighbor by taking the time to stop and touch base for a few minutes, even though your coffee got cold.
  • Serve your cousin’s grandmother by popping by the nursing home for cheery visits.
  • Serve your neighbor by attending the fundraising banquet at the end of a long day to encourage the staff and financially support a good cause, if you are able.
  • Serve the body of Christ by teaching children and young people the precious truths of Scripture.
  • Serve your children by encouraging their walk with the Lord and growth in godliness, rather than only harping on the obvious failures.
  • Serve a young mother by doing her laundry or cleaning her kitchen one day.
  • Serve a missionary through regular notes of encouragement.
  • Serve your pastor by listening to and carefully considering his counsel.

May God strengthen us to fulfill our purpose as we walk in freedom today.

Committed Love

 

But Ruth said:
“Entreat me not to leave you,

Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.”

These words are a beautiful expression of the committed love Ruth showed Naomi, a reflective flicker of the incredible covenantal love of God for His people.

In our premarital counseling, our pastor reminded us that sometimes marriage will require love that will stay in the car and ride even into the ditch. You can see the danger ahead and calmly share your concern, but sometimes the decision is still to continue. You then buckle up and ride out the crash (and pay the repair bill and allow the bruises to heal) together. Note: this is not referring to life-or-death or sin situations.

Yes, commitment is that committed. Committed love goes all the way to the end. The idea is beautiful and we love being loved that way, but how often are we committed?

How often will we go out to eat IF we like the restaurant? If it’s not a menu we like, it doesn’t matter with whom we are eating (never mind Proverbs 15:17).

How much have we been willing to be friends AS LONG as we share interests and think alike? It’s more efficient and comfortable. No need to stretch (Proverbs 27:17).

Have you ever caught yourself thinking, I’ll love AS LONG as they love me? Fair is fair, and I have my rights.

I have fallen in all these traps. That’s not love; it’s an even exchange of goods.

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.” — John 15:12-14

We often think of the Ruth passage related to weddings. I find it interesting that neither of these Scriptures are referring to marriage. Ruth loved her mother-in-law. Christ commanded His disciples, and by extension the church.

Who are we loving today?

sanddunes-2

 

FYI: Hospitality

Following is a collection of links that may be of interest to you related to our current topic. Note, listing does not imply endorsement. Please evaluate for your own situation.

Books

Confessions of an Organized Housewife

Hospitality Commands

Open Heart, Open Home

Practicing Hospitality

Resources

Flylady.net — becoming more organized, one day at a time

Encouragement

Hospitality is War — another perspective on the importance of hospitality

Culture of Hospitality — you can do it!

Putting the Gospel on Display — a reminder that hospitality is for all Christians to do

Don’t Tell Me What You Ate — refocusing help…all the way from Greece