Sometimes it’s the simple things that help us grow spiritually. Yes, I read my Bible, pray, and worship, but this tip from a blacksmith puts the everyday things of life into perspective and reminds me that spirituality isn’t always in the seemingly spiritual things I do.
Grow Spiritually by Stretching Your Soul
“I was just a child,” related a retired Baptist preacher, “when one spring day my father called me to go with him to old man Russell’s blacksmith shop. He had left a rake and a hoe to be repaired and they were ready, fixed like new. Father handed over a silver dollar for repairing them but Mr. Russell refused to take it.”
“No,” he said, “there’s no charge for that little job.”
But father insisted.
“And if I live a thousand years,” said the preacher, “I’ll never forget that great blacksmith’s reply.”
“Sid,” he said to my father, “Can’t you let a man do somethin’ just to stretch his soul?”
I accept the challenge to stretch my soul and grow spiritually by doing something for others that they cannot do for themselves—without charge or expectations for a returned favor.
For example, writing is one of my passions and a way to process my thoughts. I set aside personal time to write, but these hours are often interrupted with people in need. I can reroute a person to another time on my day planner when I’m available for counseling, but not always.
This means I have to lay aside what I love doing to help someone in need of a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. I’m stretching my soul. Especially when I’m not in the mood to really serve another. *guilty look at the ground*
I also recognize the challenge to receive graciously. Often that’s the harder task—stretching your soul by receiving.
As a pastor and friend, my husband gives his time and counsel to others joyfully. He’ll give you hours of his day and the shirt off his back, but finds it difficult to receive gifts from others.
Tom is “recipient challenged.” Receiving stretches his soul.
Picture yourself in a large gym for the soul—stretching and groaning with the exercise of giving your time, money, talents, or things to others. What do you have to give? What do you need to receive graciously?
One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty (Proverbs 11:24 NIV1984).
Today’s Question: What about you? What part of giving or receiving stretches your soul? (Share with us in the comment section below.)
Have a great week as you stretch those soul muscles, Susan
Randy Alcorn will inspire you with his Twelve Giving Stories.
“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know, all of your friends would be nice.