Hospitality vs Loneliness

This is WEEK 24 of the Character Development Series I am doing for 2012.  So glad you stopped by! 

“There are hermit souls that live withdrawn In the place of their self-content; There are souls like stars that dwell apart, In a fellowless firmament; There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths Where highways never ran,– But let me live by the side of the road, And be a friend to man.” –  Sam Walter Foss

“Hospitality should have no other nature than love.” – Henrietta Mears 

Hospitality means:
1. kindness in welcoming strangers or guests
2. receptiveness

Synonyms for Hospitality:  warmth, welcome, companionship, cordiality
Antonyms for Hospitality: cold, unsocial, unfriendly

What the Bible says about Hospitality:
Hebrews 13:2  Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
1 Peter 4:9  Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
1 Timothy 5:10  And having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.

Examples from the Bible:
The Shunem Woman: hospitality to the prophet Elisha (1 Kings 4:8-10)
Martha: hospitality to Jesus (Luke 10:38)
Abraham: hospitality to the 3 visitors sent by God (Genesis 18: 1-8)

The Example of Jesus to Us:
Matt 25:34-36   Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
Luke 7: 41-44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown.
John 13;3-5  Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Personal Thoughts and Application: 
Not every one has the talent of entertaining and being a good host for large events and gatherings.  What we all do have, however, is the ability to show hospitality on  a smaller scale that could be invaluable in helping another feel comfortable and having their needs met.  Think about basic needs first: hunger, thirst, being cold or hot, having a comfortable place to sit, being dry, etc.  Ask about these things because most people will not want to feel as if they are complaining or intruding.  If a guest is staying overnight, consider the things they will need to feel clean and comfortable when they sleep such as linens, sheets, pillows, soap, and other toiletry items.   Have these items readily available for use.  Also, make effort to attend to your guest(s) with personable conversation that lets them know you value the gift of their presence and want them to feel at ease.  Look also, for opportunity to show hospitality away from home , perhaps even to perfect strangers.  I have read about people who keep extra inexpensive umbrellas in their car in case they see someone stranded in a downpour, or offer to assist elderly people with opening doors, carrying things to their car, etc. (if the situation is safe, of course).  You could take someone a meal when they have a sickness, death or other crisis in their life.  I’m sure that if Jesus were to invite us to his home, he would show us these types of hospitality and more.  And remember, that when you do these things for others, it’s as if you do them for Jesus personally.  You never know when a simple, act of hospitable kindness and consideration  will bless in an abundant way.

Prayer For You:  May you allow God to instill in you a servant’s heart, that delights in being hospitable and attentive to the needs of others.  May you be blessed in return when you selflessly minister to others, following the example of Jesus as he washed the disciples feet. 

Additional Reading:
5 Ways to be Hospitable When You Are Busy  http://blogs.faithlafayette.org/church/5-ways-to-be-hospitable-when-youre-busy/
Creative Hospitality: It’s Not Just About Dinner http://www.christianwomanspage.org/article.aspx?ID=174
10 Ways to be Hospitable Without Going Nuts http://ahappyhomemedia.com/2012/04/10-ways-to-be-hospitable-without-going-nuts/

Image Above:  Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

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About Grace and Grit

As a Christian, to live the abundant life, we all need a lot of grace and grit... LIVING LIFE AND LUV'N IT...as God's Child, Wife, Mother, Physical Therapist, Fitness Enthusiast, Avid Book And Blog Reader, and fan of Lighthearted Humor and Fun “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Posted on June 27, 2012, in Character Series and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. When I think of hospitality I have to remember my mom and your grandmother. She did not always have a lot to share materially, but everything she did have was available for others to share. Her personality and her home were always a beacon of warmth and generosity that attracted people of low or high estate and she treated all as if they were truly equal because she loved every one. Family, friends or perfect strangers were met with genuine appreciation and respect and welcomed into her home as if inconvenience was an impossibility. She would rather err on the side of risk than turn anyone away that might need sanctuary or just a cool glass of water. On the spiritual level she came closer to exemplifying how Jesus would show hospitality than anyone I have ever known. On a more earthly level she would have given Mother Teresa a run for the money in demonstrating the art of gracious hospitality and limitless sacrifice for others. You and I have her gracious and generous heart, but we often lack her patience to ignore inconvenience which bolstered her limitless hospitality.

Would graciously luv to hear from you.

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