“The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.” 1 Peter 4:7-11
God created each of us with unique ways of connecting to others. Sharing hospitality with our neighborhood can look as different as each person’s time, treasure and talents. “You have a gift,” Peter assures, “use it to serve one another.” Simply take who you are and what you love and share it. Do you love to watch sports, or play card games, jog? Ask a neighbor to join you. Coach a neighborhood team. Trade skills to help each other with home improvement projects. Offer to pet sit or walk dogs with neighbors or for an elderly neighbor. Tutor neighborhood kids. Share a hobby or start a neighborhood tradition, like winter s’mores night, summer movie night on the garage door, or spring planting in common areas. Instead of hanging out on the back porch hang out on the front porch more often.
God is asking us to share what he has given us. If we try to relate on our own we might grumble and feel defeated before we start. If we serve for the wrong reasons we could end up feeling worn out. But if we depend on the strength that God supplies he is glorified. He gives us the Holy Spirit as our helper. He hasn’t left us on our own; he is with us, in us and for us. Be the first to invite – in his strength and might. Be the first to share – and show you care. Peter admonishes, “keep loving one another earnestly.”
Are you giving what you have, from what God’s given you? If you are not, you’re missing a portion of the purpose for which you were created. He desires for you and those around you to know of his greatness, goodness and grace. John Piper says, “your gift may look small but as part of the revelation of God’s infinite glory it takes on stupendous proportions.” God is not asking you to give something you don’t have. He’s given you a place to begin. Start with his strength, start small and start with what he’s given you. Brainstorm some ways you could share the life God’s given you with the people God has placed in proximity to you. Tell someone about your ideas and pray about doing them.
By Donna Burns