Offer Hospitality to One Another

Daily God Walk Thursday, June 16, 2011

 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. – 1 Peter 4:7-10

 hos·pi·tal·ty / Noun: The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

 Not everyone has the ‘gift of hospitality,’ but we are all called to be hospitable.  We are usually adept at receiving guests; after all, we invited them.  It may be a little inconvenient, but we tend to carry this same attitude over visitors.  However, what about strangers – how friendly and generous are we towards them?

 In the Christian community, we often have fellowship gatherings at the church, or small groups coming together in homes.  In these circumstances, the social norms of ‘our type’ are carried out almost automatically.  We are very comfortable with our traditions and our customs, and it is easy to be hospitable.

 When someone drops by un-announced or after a last-minute call, hospitality becomes little more difficult.  Sometimes weighing the social order and relational values enter into our calculations – how important is it to spend time with this person?  It can be anywhere from inconvenient to downright difficult to be interrupted in the middle of our plans.  How we react to such visitors is colored not only by our goals for the day, but also by our ‘default settings’ as regards the importance of relationships.

 Strangers are a different level of interpersonal relationships.  Their impositions on our time can be as temporary as an unsolicited sales call to the jarring circumstances of a neighbor in dire need.  A sales call is easily handled with a brusque “not interested.”  A neighbor whose husband has just had a heart attack requires that we drop all our plans and adapt to greater needs.

 A friend says that he has learned to see God in interruptions.  “Some people have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).

 Prayer: Lord, being hospitable is not always easy and I need your grace to carry it off. Give me your grace. In Jesus name, amen.

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

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