Bob Tamasy: Make Yourself At Home

Monday, July 28, 2014 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

We all like to be hospitable – or at least perceived that way. So when guests arrive at our homes, we typically encourage them to “make yourself at home.” By that we mean we’d like them to feel comfortable, and if there’s anything they need, just ask.

But what if they did – they proceeded to really make themselves at home? Imagine this scenario: They march to your refrigerator, survey the contents, and start fixing a meal without clearing it with you first? Or they take a look at your living room and commence to rearrange the furniture? Or decide to tear off the wallpaper that was designed specially for your dining room? 

Suppose they go into your yard and start yanking out the flowers you just planted, stating they don’t like the colors. Or they call a crew to start digging a huge hole in your backyard, since they’d really like to see a pool there. You did tell them to make themselves at home, correct?

You’d be more than upset. Speechless. Horrified. Nonplussed even. Because while you wanted them to feel at home, you didn’t want them to act as if they owned the place. There’s a difference between being a guest and a resident. We want them to feel welcomed and at ease, but not to go overboard. (Actually, if you had a houseboat and they arrived to be your guests there, you might want them overboard!) 

Yet this is exactly what God asks us to do. And He means what He says. He wants us not only to feel at home with Him but also to remain, to reside there. In fact, Jesus was explicit when He said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). He invites us to take full advantage of everything He has to offer to us.

The Scriptures use words like “abide,” “dwell” and “remain” to describe the relationship God desires with His children. These terms don’t refer to a quick visit or a stopover for a casual cup of coffee. We’re invited to abide in Him, enjoying His presence both now and for eternity. 

Earlier in the passage Jesus draws a metaphor to a grapevine or the branch of a fruit-bearing plant, declaring, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).

The psalmist had a clear handle on this when he wrote, “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life” (Psalm 27:4). Later it says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’” (Psalm 91:1). Sounds comforting, doesn’t it? 

Many people proudly refer to themselves as “Christian,” and yet if one were to observe their lives and compare them to those of people who have no church or spiritual affiliation, too often we’d see little if any difference. Their behaviors, attitudes, even their conversations aren’t discernibly different, and they don’t seem to be experiencing the peace and rest that abiding – establishing our home in Christ – promises.

Could it be that even though God has invited them to “make yourself at home,” they’ve chosen instead just to make occasional, brief social calls, or at most treat it like an overnight motel stay, rather than fully embracing the invitation to abide – to remain as permanent residents?

* * * 
Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net. 


St. Paul's Artist Series Presents A Medieval Candlelight Christmas Dec. 13

St. Paul’s Artist Series presents EYA: Natus ex Rex, A Medieval Candlelight Christmas, featuring music for women’s voices from the 11th through the 15th centuries.   The concert takes place on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m., at St, Paul’s Episcopal Church, 305 W. 7th Street at Pine.   Tickets are $20; $15 for seniors; $10 for students.  For more information go ... (click for more)

Covenant Presbyterian Pastor Returning To California Congregation

Rev. Jesse Pirschel, who was installed as senior pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in August 2015, announced to the congregation on Sunday that he is returning to his former congregation in California. He will again be senior pastor at Providence Presbyterian Church in Temecula, Calif. He served there 11 years. Rev. Pirschel had been chosen to lead Covenant Presbyterian ... (click for more)

City Council Approves $2.19 Million Purchase Of Body Cameras For Police Officers

The City Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to approve the $2,191,544 purchase of body cameras for city police officers. Councilman Chip Henderson, who heads the council's public safety committee, said the purchase was already included in the budget. The city will get some help from the federal government in the form of a grant for almost $300,000 toward the expense. ... (click for more)

Fire Lieutenant Who Caught Baby Dropped From 3rd Floor Of Burning Building Has To Give Up Career Over Incident

A Chattanooga Fire Department officer who was hailed as a hero after catching a baby dropped by the mother from the third floor of a burning building lost his career as a result of the incident. City officials said after Lt. Vernon Lane caught the 10-month-old baby boy that the mother then jumped and landed on him. He suffered severe injuries and has been unable to work ... (click for more)

An Open Letter To Tennessee Electors Of The President - And Response (2)

This an open letter to the following people who are Tennessee's presidential electors this year: Joey Jacobs (Brentwood), Beth Scott Clayton Amos (Nashville), Jason Mumpower (Bristol), Susan Mills (Maryville), Liz Holiway (Harriman), Lynne Davis (Lascassas), Tom Lawless (Nashville), Mike Callahan (Monterey), Pat Allen (Clarksville), Shannon Haynes (Alamo), and Drew Daniel (Memphis).  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: You Can’t Sue You

The Hamilton County School Board will convene an hour earlier tomorrow to discuss “facilities” and the question of the hour is “Which ones?” Several communities are actively studying pulling away from the county’s Department of Education and the stew is thickening by the day. Now comes the revelation that school board attorney Scott Bennett has sent an email to the town of Signal ... (click for more)