The Gift of Hospitality

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I don't participate in The Gypsy Mama's Five Minute Fridays, but I am inspired by it. I like the idea of taking a topic and writing on it for five minutes - and that's it! No editing, and no staring off into space to think of the perfect word. It scares me, to be perfectly honest, but I'm having a busy week and it suits this post. The topic is provided by Faith Barista, and it is

The Gift of Hospitality

-Go-

I'm not so good at the gift of hospitality. I think my house is too small or my stuff isn't nice enough. I worry about impressions and worry does not compliment hospitality.

I've been working on this issue. I have extended and responded to invitations I would normally decline. This may sound surprising - I come across as an outgoing person. Outgoing, yes. Naturally hospitable, no. I am drawn to the Relecutant Entertainer, simply because of her title. Reluctant implies that it doesn't come naturally, but you do it anyway. That is where I am.

Thinking of hospitality in Biblical terms helps. It shouldn't be about showing off my home or material things; it is about opening up and giving of myself - an ear, an arm, a hug, a pat on the back.

I can do that. And I am hoping that those steps in the right direction lead to the complete deletion of that first paragraph, eventually.

-Stop-

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. I Peter 4:8-10

Are you naturally hospitable, or a bit more reluctant?

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18 Comments »

18 Responses to “The Gift of Hospitality”

  1. I have definately been more reluctant. I have recognized that this has had to do with my struggle with perfection. I began to take note of what homes I felt welcome in and realized that the ones I usually felt the most at home in where the places that just invited me in on whatever is going on. Like they just keep doing their thing (whether that's cooking or whatever) as though I was another family member joining them.

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  2. I never considered showing "hospitality" to my own family.  Good thoughts !

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  3. Oh yes, we all struggle with worrying about impressions, don't we?  Encouraging to know that others have similar issues with hospitality...and I like The Reluctant Entertainer's blog, too!

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  4. Love your insights! The greatest freedom I have found is letting go of perfection (which for me meant bondage with 4 little kids!) and letting God use my home and small efforts to love other people. To give them comfort and care for the small time they were in my home. What a relief to finally understand (and embrace) that hospitality is simply loving others with your life!

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  5. Yes, it was transformative for me in a Deuteronomy Bible study to realize that the Israelites were commanded to be hospitable because the Lord had brought them out of Egypt and slavery and gave them homes they did not build...if we have received all at the Lord's hands then we must share it with others for the Lord's sake! May he increase your faith-that-relieves-worry!

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  6. I think I am more of the reluctant type. Although I do entertain guests at my place, I have to make sure that I've cleaned up all the mess, because I am afraid of rejection and side comments that I may get from them. But then I guess the negative part of this is that some of my friends think that I am a bit distant because I really don't usually allow them inside my room. And you are absolutely right about this: "It shouldn't be about showing off my home or material things; it is about opening up and giving of myself - an ear, an arm, a hug, a pat on the back." So I think all of us should work towards being hospitable towards our neighbors.

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  7. Thanks for this post! I agree....really, there are so many people in this world that need the shoulder to cry on, or the ear that will listen. The place we choose to be hospitable isn't as important as the hospitable heart.

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  8. I can identify with everything you've expressed in your post. Thank you for sharing, it's nice to know there are others out there who struggle with this issue as well.

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  9. I'm definitely in the reluctant camp too, unfortunately. I want to be better about inviting people in, but ... (I always have excuses).

    Your statement here is wonderfully accurate: "Worry does not compliment hospitality." And therein lies part of my problem. The love of Jesus is the answer to my problem...

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  10. I consider myself hospitable.  Being in the ministry, we have a lot of friends, family and acquaintances that find their way into our home.  In fact, we have a young teacher living with us right now.  I desire for anyone who crosses our threshold to feel comfortable and at home.
    Great question...
    Visiting from Thought Provoking Thursday

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  11. I think you have hospitality figured out. You're willing offer a hug and a pat on the back- people are welcomed in your heart. That is where hospitality starts! Like 1 Peter says, "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others". Great post!

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  12. I am quite the perfectionist and have a hard time inviting people over.  I compare myself to others way too much.  I am learning though that there is so much more to hospitality, that it's not about what my home looks like.  Thanks for sharing (and I think you should give the "5 Minute Friday" link a go!)

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  13. Isn't that the truth?!  I always feel the most comfortable in houses where you are simply invited in to their routine.  Great point!

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  14. Excellent point.  It is all from the Lord, all to be shared - love that.

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  15. I agree!  I almost didn't hit "publish" but I'm so glad I did - look at all the people who feel the same way!  

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  16. it is about opening up and giving of myselfyes! love this.

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  17. I have a small home too and 2 preschool aged kids that like to keep it messy. ;)  Just because of schedules and such, the people I have over now are usually mommies with little kids.  I've found my mommy friends are just happy we have a safe place to just hang out and talk about how we're doing.. and not mind having the kids interrupt us (as they always do every few minutes).  I think people are just craving a space to just be themselves-- and that's what I can serve up in big portions at my place. I've had mommy friends laugh and ask me, "Why does a turkey and cheese sandwich taste SO good at your house... when I eat this everyday at my house?" .. Wish you were nearby Courtney! :)

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  18. Me too!  Thanks for stopping by, Bonnie.

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