Practicing {Biblical} Hospitality

The Hospitality of Abraham, unknown artist, held at the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece
The Hospitality of Abraham, unknown artist, held at the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece

When I decided to look at some of the “one anothers” of the Bible during the month of April, practicing Biblical hospitality was an obvious place to start for me. I have a few friends that truly excel in offering hospitality. I do not…and here’s why:

  • I begrudge the level of cleaning that I feel “needs” to be done in order to have guests.
  • I stress over a menu for eaters that inevitably will not appreciate my culinary skills as much as my family does.
  • I exhaust my creativity in mustering new ways for everyone to connect during & after dinner.
  • I lament the energy required to stay up until the last guests (finally) decide to go back to their own homes.

The entire process is literally draining for me from start to finish – physically, socially, and emotionally.

I purposed, however, to step outside my comfort zone this year and grow in this particular area. “You don’t necessarily have to be good at it,” I encouraged myself, “just obediently practice it. You can do that.”

So what is Biblical hospitality?

1 Peter 4:9 – Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Romans 12:13 – Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Without grumbling.

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.

In reading just these two examples (there are more!), I am stopped in my tracks. I have allowed my own checklist to overshadow God’s simpler one. I realize that I have been focused more on meeting my own needs than on the needs of those I have welcomed into my home. I have been practicing having company, not Biblical hospitality.

What about you?

PONDER: Are you offering true Biblical hospitality, or are you having company? Is the hospitality you offer free of grumbling? Are you sharing with the Lord’s people who are in need, whether it’s physically, emotionally or socially?

PRAY: Father, thank You for our home in which we can practice Biblical hospitality. Grant me eyes to see those in need, that I may practice on them. Help me to focus on meeting others’ needs more than my own. And help me to learn to practice hospitality without a single grumble in my heart.

Practicing Biblical Hospitality is one of thirty devotionals I’ve been asked to write this year as part of a friend’s year-long devotional project.  You can read more short devotionals like this by clicking here or the Devotionals tab at the top of this page.