I’ve had this draft mocking me from my wordpress dashboard for weeks. (Months, actually) Hospitality is one of my things. You know, that thing that’s simultaneously important to you and a pet peeve when others fail at it. So this week when Mr Hawaiian Shirt preached about hospitality and fellowship I was like, “Dude. Me = choir.”
Then I sent him an email because he still hasn’t accepted our dinner invitation. *cough*
Seriously though, opening my home to people is one of the few standards that I manage to set and keep for myself, it’s that important to me. Even now I make a point to have someone over for dinner at least once a week. It would be so easy to want to take these gifts that God keeps sending through you guys and keep them to ourselves. To store them up in case even harder times are ahead.
But then I remember the imagery of the closed and opened fists – only one can accept more incoming blessings.
So, here are my top three reasons Christians should practice hospitality.
1. Deepening Friendships
You can’t truly get to know someone unless you have one-on-one time with them. Loitering after church or Sunday School is nice but if you want to truly learn someone’s story you have to separate them from the crowd and give them your full attention. Period.
Take it from someone who has to make new friendships every time she moves – it’s easy to never make a real friend. Especially if you already have a spouse who is your best friend. We’ve spent years traveling around the globe without any close friends because we didn’t put in the effort.
2. The Bible Says So
Seriously, it does. This is the part where I should give you some sort of concordance of proof but I’m too lazy. But hospitality is at the very heart of Christian community, I swear. Google it.
And, frankly, Christians should know that. We once joined a church and within a week or two had invited the pastor’s family over for dinner. They confided in us that in the 6 years they had been pastoring that church we were the first people who had ever invited them to our home. Christian fail, people. Christian. Fail.
3. Cleaning Motivation
Really now. Nothing inspires a more thorough and lightening fast house cleaning than putting the pressure of guests on your shoulders. If I didn’t invite people over my house would never be clean. Ever. Because I just don’t care that much if me and mine are the only people that see the mess.
To keep this method working though you have to keep throwing new people into the line up once in awhile. Because there’s a distinct line where all friendships cross over into the comfort zone where you no longer care if they see the food crumbs under your dining table. This is unacceptable and won’t help your attempts to not live in a pig-sty. Invite someone new.
So there you have it, the top three reasons you should absolutely be practicing hospitality – no excuses. This is one instance where I don’t want to hear any personality test results that prove you’re an introvert and need a special quiet cave for charging your humanity batteries. That’s fine, I respect that – but you can charge when company leaves.
As Christians there’s really no way to worm our way out of this one. I understand that everyone has different spiritual gifts and whatnot but we’re all called to fellowship and community – which involves hospitality. I’m not saying you have to be Martha Stewart (I mean really, do I come across like a Martha?) but anyone can at least throw a frozen pizza in the oven and engage in conversation for a couple of hours.
So do it! I challenge you. Or something. Have someone over for dinner this week. Deal?
Be honest, on a scale from 1 t0 10, where do you rank in the hospitality department?