We had over 100 people at our home the other night. A friend gave me a fabulous compliment, “The Jeubs know how to throw a party!” We had plenty of food, a Frisbee game and a dance evening—all to celebrate Lydia’s graduation.
I like to say Wendy and I have the “gift of partying,” a spiritual gift taken straight from the Bible. Seriously! Here are a few:
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself…
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
—1 Peter 4:9
Be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
I can give all sorts of Bible stories about partying. Much of the Jewish traditions involve celebration. Jesus was known to throw a few great parties. And when I read of the first Christians being “filled with the Holy Spirit,” I immediately think of my biggest and most rewarding parties.
This gives me a few thoughts about partying. I hope these thoughts encourage you to throw a good wingdinger in the future.
- Connection. When we throw a party, it is a great time to connect with people we haven’t seen in a while. Parties are like a live Christmas letter. It’s great to hear how things are going in others’ lives in person at a party.
- Conversation. I’ve had some of the best conversations with friends at parties. If the teens have the music turned up too loud, we adults go out on our back deck and talk, talk, talk—not just about what is going on in our lives, but about deep thoughts or struggles. I love to go deep in conversation.
- Celebration. The other day it was my daughter’s graduation. In September, we’ll have our yearly Jeub Birthday Bash. Weddings, births, showers, holidays—come up with whatever you want to celebrate life.
That’s what partying is about: life. There is so much going on in life—and it goes by so quickly—that I can’t imagine a life rolling by without parties. Life is worth celebrating, isn’t it?
This is where the Gift of Partying is sometimes confused with drunkenness. I don’t like hanging around drunks. In fact, Wendy and I don’t drink at all; too much pain in our pasts from it. When someone passes over “loosening up” to “drunk,” I loose connection with that person. I believe they become a fake, and the party isn’t really a party.
Come to think of it, the Bible says a lot about drunkenness:
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine.
Don’t misunderstand: I’ve been around people who drink and there has been awesome conversation, connection and celebration. Others, the line is crossed and, in my opinion, the party stops. Some people have a tough time avoiding this line, where drunkenness sets in and stifles the life of the party. Where…
- Connection is lost. The drug sets in and takes over the person. Instead of a “loosened up” drinker, the alcohol has taken over and I’ve lost connection.
- Conversation is lost. It becomes shallow and boring. In the most extreme circumstances, the drunk is not able to talk, let alone remember much of anything discussed later.
- Celebration is lost. Drunkenness depresses life. The drunk has imploded into himself or herself, no longer celebrating the reason for the gathering.
If you understand where this line is and know well enough to stay within it, you have the gift of partying. If you can have a blast with others without the need for alcohol, you have the gift of partying. If you see the next party as a place to connect with others, dive deep into conversation, and celebrate life, you have the gift of partying.
What do you think? Do these thoughts resonate with your idea of what partying is about?