Wednesday, September 19, 2012

1 Peter 4:9 Failure

Hello Bloggy McBloggers,

A few posts back now I shared that I had taken a spiritual gifts assessment with my husband and we discovered that hospitality was pretty high for the both of us. While conducting a Biblical study on hospitality, I stumbled upon one of the more 'popular' hospitality Bible verses:

"Offer hospitality to one another with out grumbling"
1 Peter 4:9

Let me confess that I was instantly convicted:

Just a week before taking the test, I had my 14 year old sister-in-law staying at our house. Her parents are going through a crazy, drawn-out divorce and the stress was really getting to her. Hubby and I offered to let her live at our place for as long as she needed. I really didn't mind, I knew I wouldn't be home much anyways because I was swamped under work and cheerleading and she is perfectly capable of using the Netflix remote. 

Little did I know the stress I was inviting into my life. Because she was here, so was her father. He was doing what a good dad should and checking up on her and caring for her. However, a lot of the divorce stress was thus brought into our home. Our house was now a center hub of the latest drama and constant goings and comings of me, Hubby, SIL, and FIL. 

Add in 30 hours a week, plus cheerleading, for a 7 months pregnant lady= uncool. 

I had started to feel like the live-in maid....well the live-in-maid who couldn't keep up with the housework! When we weren't carting SIL to and from tennis or talking things over with her dad, Hubby kept us on a pretty busy social schedule as well. Any night we actually didn't have something going on, I just wanted to crash downstairs with the Hubby, SIL included, and watch Psych on Netflix. I think I got to do that 

Needless to say, I was burning out. And FAST. Being so exhausted and busy hardly left me time, space, or energy to spend the proper time with the Lord. It was incredibly easy for bitterness to creep into my heart. In fact, I practically invited the bitterness to come waltzing in! I was angry, hurt, lonely (in the midst of all that, really?!), feeling unloved, and uncared for. I tried to push on wards as best I could, but the bitterness was lodged in my heart, and eventually found its way out through my mouth. I imagine I made life even more difficult for my poor Hubby as I started complaining about his family members. I just remember wanting help and someone to listen to me, but expecting that from Hubby was incredibly selfish at that time. I should have turned to God; only He can handle our emotional burdens. 

After about 2 weeks, the sister-in-law had to move back home due to some more craziness. However, my bitterness did not move out with her. It stayed wedged deeply in my heart. I knew that by complaining I wasn't making anything better and that I was becoming a really gross person, but I couldn't stop. I felt I need to get it all out of me and that complaining would some how relieve my emotions. When has that ever worked for anyone??

 And then I read 1 Peter 4:9 and realized I had failed miserably before the Lord. I had been given my first opportunity at true hospitality and fallen short. Tripped on the way to the starting line up. Was this a difficult first opportunity? I'm sure. But the verse doesn't say "Practice hospitality when you feel like it" or "Practice hospitality when it is convenient for you". There is a reason Peter tells us to practice hospitality without grumbling, because he knows that grumbling comes from a bitter heart. He wants us to offer hospitality to others because we love them and are overflowing with the love of Christ. 

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins"
1 Peter 4:8

Because I failed to stay close to the Lord during this time, I am still fighting the battle of bitterness. The walls protecting my heart were damaged, and now I have to laboriously repair them, brick by brick. 

I urge you, do not grumble about being hospitable, but instead turn to the Lord your God, seek His love, and let it in turn flow out of you to others, even strangers. 

"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it"
Hebrews 13:2

1 comment:

  1. We are human, and we have these feelings sometimes. Make sure you talk with hubby about your feelings--sit down and let him know that it is important that he listen to you. Don't hold those feelings in--that only makes them worse. And, yes, we should always make time for God--how much better I feel after having spent time with Him!


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