Open Up To People And See What God Does
Even just being aware of the needs of the people around us, the needs of people that I go to school with; people that I work with; people in my family; people within the church, am I going out of my way to be vulnerable, invite them in, and allow the Lord to work for them?
There are four things that keep us from this. You could say they're roadblocks or differences to us for not opening ourselves up to people, and even opening up our homes to people.
The first one is that we need. We feel like we have a need. We do have a need for this, but isolation. We view our private life, our home, as a place where we can get away, and we need to be by ourselves. Specifically when we think about our homes, it's easy for us to think about our homes as that place of isolation. Your home is your retreat, your get away from the craziness of work and life. You just want to shut the door and be alone.
For example, we have a couple in our Sunday School class. Doug is obviously a little more extroverted than Whitney is. He's a little more outgoing. It doesn't mean that Doug's a better person or Whitney's a better person, God wired us all differently. For the introverted type people, those of us that have this inclination for introversion, we need isolation. We need some time by ourselves. But taken to an extreme, we look back and it's been years and years and years before we’ve done anything with anybody, or really had anybody over to eat or just to hang out or whatever.
Another thing that keeps us from this is relaxation, which is a little different than isolation. Isolation is "I just need to be away, I need to be by myself." Relaxation, we view our homes into places where we need to relax. I can't really relax when I'm around people. I really can't relax at work. I deserve to be able to sit back, sit in my chair, watch the news, binge watch Netflix. Maybe it's just sitting down and doing this, I just need to have my alone time with Facebook or Instagram where I'm scrolling, doing whatever. I need this relaxation.
God has wired us each where we do need to relax. This goes back to Genesis 1 where with the Sabbath, God rested one day. We need to have time in our lives where we rest. But again taken to an extreme, we miss out on a huge ministry opportunity, and it's this whole idea of being hospitable.
So we have isolation, relaxation, and entertainment, which I kind of hit on this one. But entertainment deals with the mindset that this is my home where I watch TV. It's where I scroll on Facebook; it's where I watch football. It's where I do my thing, whatever my thing is.
There's a fourth one to be shared, and it's busyness. We just get way, way too busy. I'm sure we all agree. I think our culture encourages busyness. For some people, busyness is an escape from whatever it is that people really should wrestle with and deal with in their lives. So instead, they just keep themselves busy and their mind occupied.
For many of us busyness is an addiction. We just really get addicted to it. We get our high on being busy. I like having a ton of stuff to do. Now is there anything wrong with being busy? No, there's nothing wrong with being busy. Nothing wrong with taking some time to enjoy things. Nothing wrong with relaxing. There's nothing wrong with being by yourself, retreating, and having some me time.
But, if you don't have a mind shift change, where you are going to be intentional about reaching out? I'm not going to be selfish in all of this, where it's not going to be all about me. If I have a mind shift change, I begin to think how can I be more hospitable. It really can be a game changer for my life personally, for your life, and for our families.
Your #1 fan,