We all have different God-given gifts, this is true. We also have different personalities, tastes, hair and eye color and backgrounds, amongst a multitude of other things. The world is a diverse place and people are too.
Aren’t you grateful for those differences when you really think about it?
Some of us are more extroverted than others, while some folks are more peaceful, gentle, and calming. Some of us are visual in our learning style, while others are auditory or hands-on. There are people in the world who can’t stand the idea of public speaking, while others seem to come alive only when performing on stage.
Some folks like coffee, while others prefer tea, and some prefer veggies and dip over cake.
But no matter who you are and what your preferences, tendencies, or giftings are, if you follow after Christ Jesus, He asks that you live out life as a servant unto others.
He asks us to be approachable.
He asks us to be available.
He tells us that people matter more than things – even the things that are good, like church, work, or exercise.
He asks that we show hospitality, leave ourselves open, and most of all, that we do it all with a desire to glorify, praise, and lead others straight to Him and all He has for us. After all, even if we put all of our best gifts and strengths together, they’d never compare to even the most minute detail about our mighty and divine, loving and perfect God!
It doesn’t matter if you are introverted or extroverted, quiet or exuberant in spirit, or if you prefer small gatherings or large crowds. What matters is that as followers after Jesus and brothers and sisters in Him, we make sure to make the most of our commitment to Him, each other, and being like-minded in the face of these little nuances that make us different.
Really think about this for a moment: Jesus made us all different. He talks about the different giftings that we, as individuals have been given and that we are to use them all for His glory! Yet He also emphasizes that as one body, of one mind (in HIM), we can do great things. He tells us with no reservation that no matter what your personality, circumstance, upbringing, or genetics might be, it is a choice to put out the welcome mat and make a focus upon Him and people (relationship) primary in life.
I’m loving that thought right now and praying about it and really soaking it in for a while. I like to imagine the variety in the “welcome mats” that all of my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ, would display if we could all just share our own mats with one another. What a colorful world it would be if we could see them!
But we can experience them even if we can’t see them in full color – we just have to look. We just have to appreciate how they are different. We just have to be grateful for every glimpse of them we see not by sight, but through the vision the Lord gives to us when we ask Him for it.
I am so thankful – so very blown away by the grace of God and the eyes He’s giving me to be able to see that diversity amongst us doesn’t always mean division! I’m so excited to get to see the different welcoming spirits that so many around me display in so many different and creative ways. I’m seeing Jesus there. How much more “welcoming” can things get than that?
Sometimes I get down when I rely upon my own faulty vision, don’t you? If you ever find yourself in that same boat, can I encourage you to ask yourself once in a while if your own welcome mat could use a little sweeping? I know that the Lord has placed this challenge pretty heavily upon my own little heart a coule of times lately, that’s for sure. it’s easy to take for granted that it’s out and beckoning “welcome all,” but I have found mine being upside down or a little dirty a couple of times over the past few months.
I may never have even noticed it if He hadn’t reminded me of how important it is. And the reason I am stressing that is because I personally, have found that when my own welcome mat is clean and straight, I am better able to see everyone else’s.
Aren’t we all glad that the Lord always has His welcome mat out – displayed clearly for all to see and trust in and walk upon? Aren’t we thankful that we can not only see that it’s there, but bask in the peace that comes from knowing with no doubt what it’s purpose really is? To cross right over it and past that threshold and into His presence. Then, to make way for others who wish to do the same.
That door is always open – that mat is always laid right out there in plain sight. Thanks be to Him!!
Let’s keep our welcome mats out and clean and stop hesitating to step right into the ones that others have placed out in front of us as well. Then, we can enjoy how God created us all as different, but simultaneously get a better understanding of what it truly is to be like-minded as fellow believers and followers after Christ!
Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15:7
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8