We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth. 3 John 8
Hospitality is demonstrated in the way you greet your guests in your home and church. For the most part, people do not accept strangers and friends in the same manner. The motivation involves openness in how we accept strangers into our world and whether we greet strangers with caution or with extended hand. Perhaps we need to understand that we were strangers at one time with people that we call friends today. Therefore it is feasible to understand that people want to be accepted in the same manner that we expect to be treated.
Every day we meet strangers and say how do you do or how are you, as we pass them on our way to wherever we are going. Starting a conversation with a stranger seems to be out of the question as we really donít know them enough to know if we can trust them. Most people would rather pass strangers by for fear that they may be rejected. There is a certain fear of the unknown and because it takes time to build trust they may not want to take time to get to know you either.
Still it never hurts to perform acts ofkindness such as picking up something that a stranger may have dropped or pulling items off the shelf for those whom horizontally challenged. Christians call this type of kindness serving one another. On the other hand, these acts of service are a good way to break the ice and enable you to start a friendly conversation with the potential to develop a relationship. No one knows the benefits that may come from of a new friend. In time you may lead them to Christ or they could do you a favor in the future.
Hospitality is more than meeting new people it is a way to exchange your beliefs for actions that demonstrate your compassion for people in need.
Share with Godís people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:13
The church has many ministries that practice hospitality to those in need. Christians regularly take guest speakers into their homes. While other Christians provide services such as food and clothing banks, aiding the homeless with whatever they will accept. Those involved in these ministries are often heartbroken when finding men and women in horrible conditions. It requires a loving person to have compassion on a man with dirty clothes reeking from alcohol, just to feed and give him a place to sleep.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.í Matthew 25:35-36
The world produces several informative TV shows on the topic of ways to have festive holiday parties. These shows deal strictly with the cuisine and table decorations, but neglect the treatment of guests or help those in need. In the service and tourism industry public relations depend on hospitality between the guest and the business involved to establish and promote a favorable relationship with its customers. In most cases they suggest local entertainment or places to eat while you are in their locality.
In the same way, most church greets visitors as they enter the church to advise them of the various services and guide them to the right classroom. The aim of the church is to establish and promote a favorable relationship with its visitors. In addition the church wants to make the stranger feel at home, become friends and a welcomed part of their group.
Making a person feel welcomed plays an important role in establishing the strangerís sense of self-worth. When you institute a new relation with men and women, you do unto others what you would want done to you. Every human being wants to have a sense of being important part of other peopleís life. Establishing a good first impression does not depend on your appearance, but the way you respect them as a person.
In the Old Testament it was customary to take care of the stranger traveling from one place to another. Refuge for the night was expected so travelers would enter the city looking for someone to take them into their home. Food was carried in the fold of a garment, which meant food was subject to spoiling and fresh food was provided for them. Eating bread and salt under the same roof was also a practical way of sealing a covenant of brotherhood. Most importantly they also came under the protection of the hosting home by providing a safe haven for the night and allowing them to continue on their journey refreshed.
Hospitality incorporates the ability to demonstrate Godís love and respect for the person as an individual. Consider how the Bible defines love.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Plain and simple hospitality is treating strangers with the same respect you want from them. It involves accepting strangers within social groups to by learning to help men and women be accepted in a strange place by everyone. However, hospitality goes a step beyond being polite as it requires you to make the initial contact to break the ice. Hospitality is the friendliness we all need to consider the needs of others with compassion to accept them as they are. God asks us to love our enemy by doing good and lend without expecting anything in returned. In other words, be the Good Samaritan of your day that saw the helpless man beside the road and did something to relieve the harm done to man.
Do not look down a manís social status or avoid the dirty clothes a man wears. Slighting another is offensive and scorn and disdain has its reward that is quickly returned. The bible says that God cannot be mocked you will reap what you sow. (Galatians 6:7) Therefore, show respect for Godís creation.
God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you. 2 Thessalonians 1:6