THE POWER OF HOSPITALITY (1)
It is my pleasure to welcome you again to this column. I believe that by the grace of God, you shall be blessed as you come along with me this month on this new topic “The Power of Hospitality.”
Hospitality is essential to the Christian life, as walking and talking are to physical life. It has its root in God and it is found in the scriptures as one of the things that indicate that you are a child of God.
In this maiden edition, I shall be looking into “Christian Hospitality.” By way of definition, hospitality is, “The act or practice of receiving and entertaining strangers or guests without reward, or with kind and generous liberality” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1830). This is what the Bible says about hospitality: Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:8-11 NIV).
As a Christian, hospitality is one of the virtues that you must possess. As a matter of importance, it is one of the marks of a mature Christian. Paul, in his Epistle to Titus, included being hospitable as one of those requirements that ought to be present in our church leaders. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. (Titus 1:7-9). Peter (quoted above), exhorts all his Christian readers to be hospitable, and like Paul, links hospitality with good stewardship of the gifts God has given you.
How best do you practise hospitality?
Hospitality must be practised without grumbling. It could amount to pride, if you feel compelled when you are asked to serve others. But hospitality rendered with a truly humble spirit, without pretence or pride, is a beautiful manifestation of the work of the Spirit of God in the lives of His people.
Hospitality affords you the opportunity to touch other lives, promote peace within the church and families, witness and encourage those who are labouring for the Kingdom. Also it helps you to uphold those who are suffering, and comfort those in the midst of trials. What a privilege to be used of God for such important things!
There are many challenges to being hospitable, but you must not let them become excuses. The Bible says: …But wisdom is profitable to direct (Ecclesiastes 10:10). Many are so concerned about the setting of their homes that they would rather not allow anyone to tamper with their snazzy home décor. If you examine yourself, you will discover that the biggest challenges might not be within your home, but rather, within your heart. A little creative thinking can help you to find solutions to these particular problems. The focus of hospitality is on your guests, not on your immaculate home setting, china or silverware. Setting too high expectations for such things is often a matter of pride. Your guests care less!
Focusing on your guests is a good way to overcome the problem of how you feel. After all, your guests will still enjoy themselves, whether your ceiling is painted or your carpet matches the wall and their meal is not ruined, if it’s served on paper or China plates. Your guests will remember your conversation and fellowship, long after the plates and furniture are forgotten. It now depends on your priority.
Ways to be Hospitable:
- Invite people over for dinner.
- A person without transportation could be invited to come along on your trip.
- You could cook and send to a neighbour that cannot afford the next meal.
- You could include your neighbours in your picnic plan.
In all of these situations, a person new to the faith or in your neighbourhood may feel free to ask questions. The better people get to know each other, the less likely they are to misinterpret or mistrust one another which adds to the harmony in the community, churches and families.
Hospitality, as stated above, has its root in God. Therefore, you cannot be hospitable, if you are not born of God. Hospitality is born out of love and God is love. If you are set to accept Jesus Christ into your heart and become a child of God, pray this prayer of faith with me: “Dear Lord Jesus, I come to You today acknowledging that I am a sinner who needs Your forgiveness. I believe You died for me and rose again on the third day. Forgive me my sins, wash me with Your Blood and write my name in the Lamb’s Book of life. Thank You Lord for saving me.”
If you prayed this simple prayer of faith with me, congratulations, you are born again! You are now a child of God. He loves you and will never leave you. Read your Bible daily, obey God’s Word and seek Christian fellowship (John 14:21).
With this, you are guaranteed all-round rest and peace in Jesus’ Name. Call or write, and share your testimonies with me