Sometimes when I’m preparing to host people, I get stressed out. Other times, I get excited! The difference can usually be found with my motivation. Am I secretly excited for everyone to notice my new rug? Or am I praying about how to arrange the room that will make people feel more comfortable?
When I’m thinking about the former, I’m concerned with how my guests will view my house and me. This leads me to stress desiring their approval. Yet when I have the latter motivation, or the love motivation, I tend to feel more free in my preparations, trusting God to care for the details.
It’s a simple mind shift in priorities. It’s a shift that reminds us of the “why” we do what we do as opposed to allowing us to get caught up in making ourselves look good. When I stop worrying about being perfect or having the perfect house, I feel more free to care about others and invite them into my house. When I host, I have to remind myself that the people coming over are not coming to see my backsplash and probably will not even notice if it’s unfinished. If I’m leading a Bible study at church, I have to remind myself the people are coming for God, not to see me! The best thing I can offer them is God Himself, not the best snacks of the century.
1 Peter 4:9 NASB
“Be hospitable to one another without complaint.”
Our verse today says to be hospitable, without complaint (1 Peter 4:9, emphasis mine)! I believe that also means, without excuses! “I can’t have people over with the house looking like this!” “I can’t offer snacks that I bought instead of homemade!” Some might be valid excuses, but others are probably not.
Are you hospitable? By that I do not simply mean do you host people in your home, but do you have a spirit of hospitality toward others that invites them into your home, Bible study, or life? Do you do hospitable things out of your love for others or to be impressive to others and to God? Two people might bake the same cake. One does it because she’s excited about using her gifts to serve others. The other bakes the same cake to receive praise from others. Can you taste the difference? Pray that God would enable you to use what He’s given you to be hospitable for the purpose of loving others and glorifying God out of a pure heart. Amen!
This is an excerpt taken from my upcoming book: Applying God’s Word in Our Daily Lives.