Christianity is often misunderstood as a religion that requires you to function as a metaphorical doormat. Words like surrender, submission, and subjugation are grossly misinterpreted by society apart from the counsel of the Holy Spirit.
In communities void of the Spirit, Christian meekness becomes synonymous with weakness and truth seekers appear to bear the muddy imprint of those who dismiss the concepts of unconditional love and absolute truth.
Simply stated, critics of Christ cringe at the notion of lying prostrate before a Holy God.
According to the world, literal and metaphorically “spiritual” doormats are only useful for unwanted dust, not for welcoming home the lost through the cross-shaped threshold of salvation.
However, what if the gross misunderstandings and misinterpretations of those carnally-minded are actually blinding believers from our true callings as spiritual welcoming mats? Not doormats who endure trampling abuse and harmful beatings against hard objects, but prostrate lives who welcome a lost world into the pearly gates of saving grace.
In fact, the concept of becoming a spiritual doormat is initially introduced at the dusty, yet level, ground at the foot of the cross. Furthermore, this concept is instructed throughout the pages of scripture, constructed by grace, and ultimately empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The foot of the cross is where we muddy our knees in humble recognition of our sin only to discover that the dust from which we were created becomes the clay the Potter shapes into a holy vessel for His service.
We become temples made of dust in whom shame turns to glory.
“By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.”
Hebrews 11:31 ESV
Then within the tattered pages of marked and highlighted Bibles, God’s Word reveals and instructs a paradoxical faith in which the meek inherit and the persecuted are rewarded.
We are temples who point vertical yet obey the One who calls us to fall horizontal for our friends.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13 ESV
Then there is grace. And grace changes everything.
The hand of Grace will reach to the depths of the sea to rescue us from pride, self-pity, and performance based living—all paralyzing schemes of the devil. Grace shows us how to bear the cross, deny the flesh, and walk in the gift of unmerited favor. It creates space for relationship and gives permission to lay prostrate without the fear of a trampled heart.
Grace is the light that seeps through our cracked and imperfect temples illuminating a prodigal’s way home. It lays low, says “welcome”, and doesn’t mind a little dust.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
Nevertheless without the empowering work of the Holy Spirit, surrender at the cross, submission to God’s commands, and subjugation to His grace will fall short when exercised in our own strength. Only the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead can give us the supernatural strength to bow low in hopes that others will feel welcomed into the household of faith.
The Holy Spirit gives us the faith to lay and stay prostrate before a Holy God.
“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.”
Romans 14:1 ESV
When we believe that unconditional love and absolute truth are eternally wed in the union of a Holy God with His bride, the church, we will willingly with humble hearts lay down our lives in the name of a welcoming Savior.
Will we welcome the opportunity to become “spiritual doormats” for others?
If so, then what does your spiritual doormat say?
Mine says “Grace Lives Here”, and she doesn’t mind a little dust.