By: Taylor Adkins
“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” Romans 11:6
I recently heard a story of someone who was hosting a touring band (not a RYFO host home) and they offered the band their bed along with some other amenities for the night. What did the band do? They opted to sleep outside, in their van, on a night where the temperature was likely below freezing. And what was their reason? They said they wouldn’t feel right putting the person out of their bedroom for the night. They said they felt grateful just to have a place to park and bathrooms to use. The next morning, the host went to the grocery store and bought tons of food to feed her guests. They came inside after getting little sleep and saw all the food before them. They stated how thankful they were that their host had gone through the trouble but proceeded to eat only a fraction of the food. Again, their reason was they felt guilty taking all the food for themselves. Afterwards, the band hit the road and the host felt robbed of the opportunity to bless her guests.
Last week my wife and I had a similar experience. We received an unsolicited offer from a woman in my wife’s bible study, to pay for our flight home for Christmas. Due to some unexpected financial issues we were experiencing, it was an answered prayer! My wife and I could not believe someone was willing to actually pay for our flight home for Christmas. So, how did we respond? By stating “no we couldn’t ask you to do that. It’s so much money and we couldn’t possibly accept your offer.” Immediately, the woman responded “You are not asking me to do anything nor am I expecting anything in return. I want to bless you and your husband this Christmas season so please accept my offer and there is no need to continue to thank me.” We continued to ask “are you sure? Are you comfortable doing this? Is this really something you want to do?” She pleaded with us to accept her gift to us and to not say another thing about it. This was a need that we had and a need she could provide for.
So why did my wife and I continue to fight this woman’s generosity? To be honest, I felt undeserving of it.
Why do we do this? Why do we refuse to humble ourselves and allow someone to do for us what we can not do for ourselves? Why do we refuse to accept things unless we have earned them? Honestly, I don’t know the answer, but I do know most of us do the same thing in our relationship with God. When Christ went to the Cross He did so for the sins you have committed, the sins you are committing right this moment, and the sins you will commit. We are forgiven! We don’t have to earn God’s grace, nor can we earn God’s grace. Yet, daily I continue to let the guilt of my transgressions keep me from the fulfillment of being in the presence of God. When I dwell on my sense of guilt I am missing out on the opportunity to grow in my relationship with God because my focus is not on Him.
Having had the opportunity to tour as a musician, and serve on staff with RYFO, I have both perspectives when it comes to RYFO’s mission of serving the voices. RYFO’s only to desire is to bring the Gospel to the music community. Their objective is to do so by loving and serving musicians selflessly and expecting nothing in return…zip…nada…zilch…
Artists pour everything they are into their art. But, how can someone continue to pour out without being poured into? To all the artists reading this blog, let yourself be served. Let meals be cooked for you. Let your gas be paid for. Let someone give up their home so that you can recover physically, spiritually, and emotionally from life on the road. Refusing to accept grace is robbing someone of the opportunity to bestow the blessings God has given to them.
As the old saying goes, “it is better to give than to receive.” But, it’s impossible to give if there is no one there to receive.