by Brandy Webb
My last blog was about serving, and I realized one way to serve others is to be hospitable. Hospitable people are open to receiving people into their homes and lives. I think of them as the people that everyone likes to go and visit. They make you feel welcome and special. You feel at “home” in their homes. It is a beautiful talent to have, and I believe that we all should make an effort to learn how to be hospitable instead of relying on a few to do it for us. In fact, Paul makes hospitality a job requirement for overseers in the Ecclesia (1 Tim 3:2). He also tells all of us to “practice hospitality” (Rom 12:13b).
Do you ever wonder why it is such an important skill/talent to have? Well, I don’t know if I am correct, but one idea I have goes back to the fact that we are to be a body. A body has to communicate with each other in order for all our body parts to work in unison. You can’t have your right foot decide it wants to go forward while the left foot decides to go backward. It would cause you to fall down, and you would not get anywhere. Well, the body can’t move forward towards the Kingdom of God if members don’t know how to work together, and you can’t learn how to work together if there isn’t any communication through interacting with each other. How do we learn to interact with each other? We become hospitable to one another. Who wants to interact with someone who is inhospitable?
Peter tells us to “be hospitable to one another without grumbling” or complaining (1 Pet 4:9). So, don’t force hospitality. If you allow people into your home begrudgingly, you are not being hospitable. We must be cheerful and willing, warm and open. According to dictionary.com, hospitable means to receive or treat “guests or strangers warmly and generously.” In order to do this, you have to willingly interact with other people. We must be willing to have people over to our homes. It requires us to open up our box and let others inside.
Hospitality is a way to allow for communications to flow. It also provides warmth to others, and a body needs warmth to survive. If we are cold to each other, the Spiritual Body will eventually freeze to death. How are we going to spread the gospel if we become a dead “body”? How is God’s light going to spread to others if we do not know how to be hospitable? And how are we going to become hospitable to strangers if we do not practice it with each other? Therefore, we need to learn/grow this talent because it keeps our body flowing from the inside out.
We do not have forever to learn how to behave. We only have the right now, and we need to examine how we are interacting with each other. We are living in the end times regardless if we are in the last 100 years or the last five; it is still the end times. For this reason, we need to strive “to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb 10:24-25). So, grow in hospitality towards others, and let’s lift each other up daily, so that the body can fight the good fight of faith and reach the desired goal of the Kingdom of God.