Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
─ Romans 12:13 NIV
Christian hospitality shouldn’t be confused with social entertainment, which is focused on the host and comes with expectations of a sparkling clean home, an abundant supply of well-prepared food and planned order of events.
A woman named Lydia, mentioned in Acts 16, extended true hospitality to Paul and Silas. She was the first convert in Europe. She was quick to throw open the doors of her home and care for them. A businesswoman, Lydia could have perceived hosting them in her home as an inconvenience and an interruption in her busy schedule.
True hospitality moves to the rhythm of relationships, focused on the guests. It doesn’t require a lot of planning or preparation, but a willingness to meet the needs of others. You can practice hospitality by simply listening well to a person who needs to talk things through, offering a place to stay a night or two or providing a meal (that doesn’t even have to be home cooked). Acceptance is the most important gift you bring when you offer hospitality. It’s simply a “come as you are; I’m here for you” atmosphere.
Through Christian hospitality we nurture, strengthen and serve those we invite into our homes, where they find physical, emotional and spiritual encouragement. When they leave, they should feel refreshed and more complete than when they first arrived.
Today’s One Thing
When was the last time you practiced hospitality? Don’t let the fact that you’re too tired, too busy or your house is too dirty to keep you from offering hospitality to others. It doesn’t always have to cost money, either. Ask the Lord to show you how He would like for you to practice hospitality; and then do it, even when you don’t feel like it. God will bless you in unexpected ways.