Blog

Sep 15, 2022 10:00am
Be My Guest
14036 Views

Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 1 Peter 4:9 (NASB)

Permission to get personal?

Do we live a “welcoming life?” Christ followers say we want to emulate Jesus, yet we routinely defer on one of the most crucial signatures of his ministry…hospitality! Our Savior never showcased a Pinterest-laden expansive home. Grandiose catering spreads with signature charcuterie boards were not required for His hosting efforts either. Instead, Christ chose a welcoming lifestyle ready to bless, serve, and
encourage throughout his daily walk. Do we?

Simple and prescriptive, yet profound!

My mother taught home economics many years. Obviously, it’s not genetic: I don’t can goods, make jelly, or hem. I’ve even been known to staple pants that were too long on me!
I happen to think store-bought salsa works quite well for a Tex/Mex meal. No judging.
I did retain that the chilled fork goes with the salad and not to butter the entire roll, just the
bite I was eating! (Who knew that was a thing?) Yet, I love and enjoy being around folks
minus all the pressures of etiquette grading. I promise not to freeze your fork if you will
rave over “my” salsa!

Observation. People are lonely! Allow these stats to motivate a shift in your scheduling.
“One in four Americans rarely or never feel as though people understand them. Two in five
Americans feel that their relationships are not meaningful and they are isolated. One in five
report they rarely feel close to people they can talk to.” (“Understanding the Loneliness
Epidemic” by Theresa Borachard)

Could we put down our “devices” long enough to SEE hurting people? Check your screen time. Better yet WWJD? He didn’t run programs or put on events. He gathered at tables.
All too often, we wrongly assign hospitality to others. THEY have the large abode, the
bigger income to cover the expenses, or they simply aren’t as busy as we are. May I
remind us? Hospitality is a command not a suggestion. You can’t biblically opt out. When
you start to link hospitality with extroverts, pay checks, and clean homes, you are deceived.
It’s the WHY, not the WHAT, that makes it ministry. Hear me out. Hospitality requires
vulnerability and courage, but the payout is connection, not perfection. I have heard it said
that hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were. I believe
the bar can be a bit higher and for eternal reasons.
God has given each of us a hospitality heartbeat (Your Hospitality Personality by Morgan
Tyree). These personalities include extroverts, introverts, and ambiverts. Some are task-
oriented while others are people-oriented, but ALL are forms of serving others and glorifying
the Father. Just to be clear, if Jesus devoted time for it…is it optional for His followers?

Bottom line. God is generous so we should be generous. (Isaiah 55:1-7) Our hearts often
get in the way. We must prioritize compassion over convenience, comfort, or cost. Pride derails washing feet. Challenge your consumer mindset. Be creative.

Carolyn Lacey states, “Persistence in hospitality is one way to be countercultural – taking
people by surprise, just as God’s grace does.” For Jesus, welcoming was personal. Offer
the invitation to gather, sit on the couch covered in your pet’s dog hair and lean in to the
lives and the eternal destinations of others. There is no generosity without sacrifice. Love
outwardly. Open your home and your heart. Be Kingdom minded and make Heaven
crowded.

Copyright © 2022 by Kerry Stitch @Lifeword.org. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org