This is a hard blog to write because God called me out on something this week and I’m ashamed.
To preface to my story, I have weird taste buds. First of all, I generally do not like the taste of water. I know. Weird. Because I don’t like water, I typically have to add a whole lemon, or a B vitamin flavoring that I have come to like, or pellet ice so that my water “chewable”, in order to drink as much as I water as I should.
This water aversion also makes it so that I can tell even slight taste differences between bottled and tap waters. Yes, I have done blind taste tests to prove this to my doubters.
Last week I went to the store and my favorite bottled water was on sale. Typically, I purchase store-brand waters because you get a ton for not much money. My husband thinks that the whole thing of buying water, when we have perfectly good tap water, is ridiculous, but for convenience for grab-and-go or hosting people at our home, I do it anyway. So, on this particular day, the sale brought the price closer to the less expensive standard. I bought 2 cases.
We host a few things at our home. 2 reasons for this:
We had a gathering in our home soon after the water purchase. I had my new water, as well as some store-brand water on hand. I made the store-brand more visible and all but hid my favorite. WHILE I was doing it, I was convicted. I heard the Lord in my heart telling me that the Spirit-filled heart of hospitality is to offer my BEST to my guests, not the thing I consider “2nd place”. I told my husband that I was convicted. He didn’t bash me out loud, but I heard in his voice that he was surprised at my actions. I didn’t change the positioning of the waters. It has bugged me since. Pretty sure the Holy Spirit is calling me out – Is your hospitality real, or make-believe? Is it of Me, or for yourself?
Here is the thing…the 7-cent difference in the water bottles wasn’t the issue. I felt God gently and lovingly revealing a crack in my hospitality façade. He was telling me that if I want to TRULY have a heart of hospitality, I should do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above [my]self, not looking to [my own] interests but to the interest of others. In [my] relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, who GAVE us everything, so that we could GAIN everything! (Philippians 2:3-8) God gave His best, and His all. I held back WATER.
It isn’t lost on me that water was the medium for my lesson. Jesus gives the living water. Whoever drinks of the water Jesus gives us will never thirst. The water He gives will become in us a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (John 4:13-14)
It occurred to me that in the moment when I hid the pricier water and offered the less expensive, I was actually offering hospitality in my strength and for my glory. I was no longer doing it with Jesus’s attitude and heart. I was like Ananias and Sapphira who said they gave a complete offering to God, but held some back for themselves. (Acts 5:1-11) I am heartbroken at what this water incident revealed to me about my heart. However, I am so grateful for the Lord’s mercy to show me, and His grace to forgive me!
I have repented from my selfishness, but have had a renewed spirit to truly represent the Lord’s brand of hospitality when I have people in my home.
This is what the Lord does for us as His children. He sets the standard because what He does is out of love, by way of service and high esteem, for each and every person. He gives all of His VERY BEST, ALWAYS! We can take His living water, or disregard it, but it makes it no less of an offering of selfless love.
May what we do reflect, and not deflect, the Savior we serve. <3