I’m reading a short book called The Hospitality Commands by Alexander Strauch. It is pretty challenging. It is so easy to get busy with life and neglect to show hospitality to our brothers and sisters in Christ, and our neighbors. It is a sacrifice, but the rewards are great. Even with Rob’s very busy schedule, we are trying to grow in hospitality. It is a command, afterall, and we ought to treat others like we want to be treated.
We have a tendancy to feel sorry for ourselves when we don’t get invitations. God really showed us that instead of being bitter about it we should just invite others over instead. Whether we are the ones showing the hospitality, or the ones being invited, it is a blessing to get to know people better. The location really doesn’t matter.
To quote from the book, “I often hear people say, ‘Oh, we just don’t know anyone; we can’t make any friends at church.’ I have a suggestion that might solve the problem. It comes from a couple who had a hard time feeling as if they belonged in their congregation. Instead of leaving, as so many people do, they decided to invite every person in the church to their home for dinner during the next year. By the end of the year, they knew everyone in church and had made a number of close friendships!”
So the challenge for all of us is to reach out to others in hospitality often, even if no one ever invites us over. It really isn’t about us anyway, although we receive many benefits when we show hospitality. It is more blessed to give than to receive. Specifically, we should reach out to those who are new in our churches, to singles, widows, etc.
Each believer has so much to offer fellow believers, and the lost. Some of my spiritual heros were also men of generous hospitality, and exercised much influence over others because of it. Men like Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, Francis Schaeffer. . .our homes, and family ministry, are powerful tools in God’s hands when we surrender them to His use.