“Hospitality is becoming an almost forgotten Christian virtue in our style of life today… In the New Testament, however, hospitality was a distinctive mark of Christians and Christian communities.” ~Alexander Strauch
"Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling." 1 Peter 4:9
"Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth." 3 John 5-8
Time and time again we see in Scripture that we are told to practice hospitality. In fact, it is a requirement for Elders and Deacons (1 Timothy 3:2) But what does hospitality look like? For years I reasoned that I was indeed a hospitable person. After all, I made sure I signed up to take a meals to families when a need arose. I was kind and made small talk with new folks at church and reached out when someone needed a hand. But, just what does hospitality truly mean?
the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers
the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.
Yes... we are commanded to have people in our homes, for the purpose of entertaining them with our fellowship. Don't get me wrong - taking meals to someone in need is an incredible act of service (which is also commanded) but this isn't the same thing as hospitality. Ministering to folks in other places - at the park, at the coffee shop, at church - these are also important as well, but it's just not the same as having someone in our home.
When we invite someone into our home, there is a vulnerability that can't help but happen. I think this is why sometimes it is so hard. It's easy to make excuses....
Excuse: We just can't afford to make a big fancy meal
Reality: The Bible doesn't command a big fancy meal. Cornbread and beans would do just fine!
Excuse: But my house is a wreck
Reality: Most folks don't care what your house looks like; but if it bothers you then work towards keeping a tidy house so this doesn't become your excuse
Excuse: I'm not a social person
Reality: Get over it - God commanded it - you need to do it! It's time to step out of your comfort zone and let God work through you and in you for His glory and not your own!
Excuse: Oh, I plan to have someone over, but I need to get this, this and this done first. And just as soon as I do, my doors are open!
Reality: Procrastination only leads to procrastination. Stop talking about it and do it or the moment will pass you by.
Excuse: But it will cut into our family time
Reality: What better way to spend your family time than by ministering to others. Besides, your time belongs to God - use it for Him.
What are some steps you can take to prepare your home to have others over?