Natural Expression of Hospitality

As part of pursuing my college education at home I get the opportunity to study Scripture in a very detailed and applicable way. Mama has asked that I pick a good characteristic that we see in a woman from Scripture and study them out.

In the Bible there are many mentions of people who were very hospitable. None of them comes to mind more than the great woman from Shunem. The Bible makes it fairly clear that entertaining Elisha was her idea. Not Elisha's, not her husband's, not even necessarily God's. There is no indication that she was trying to get anything or show off. She was just being hospitable.
2Kings 4:8-11 "And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there."
We as Christians today are, in general, sorely lacking in this area. We should be looking continually for people to bless through the talents and blessings that God has given to us. To be a good steward of God's gifts is essential to gain more blessings, though we should try to avoid a selfish motivation if possible.
Genesis 18:2-3 "And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:"

In this passage Abraham RAN. He was looking for someone he could bless and as soon as he saw someone he hasted to do it. We tend to put off being hospitable to those we see. We think, "Someone else can help them better", or "They wouldn't want to be my guest". Whether or not those thoughts are true should not be our focus. Our focus is to at the very least offer with sincerity.
1Peter 4:9 "Use hospitality one to another without grudging."

I'm not suggesting that we literally follow Abraham's example and sit in out doorways searching out strangers to invite into our homes. But when we are out doing errands around town and we see someone we know but haven't seen in awhile, or someone who doesn't have a lot of food, or even just someone we want to get to know better; we should be able to invite them to a meal and time of fellowship in our homes.

Romans 12:13 "Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality."
Hospitality is something that everyone would agree is good. I don't know of anyone who would say that being able to host others is a bad thing. It seems so simple. Yet so often the simple things are the hardest to do in a practical fashion. They are worthy of note and they set the people who do them apart from the rest.

1Timothy 5:10 "Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work."
This isn't a do-it-once kind of thing. The Greek word for hospitality means fond of guests. When you are fond of something you usually do it often. You make it a part of who you are. You don't forget to practice it. You are known by it.

  • Do the people who need shelter know that you have hospitality?
  • Do they see you as a person they can come to when they need something?
  • Are you open to using your blessings for God when called on and even at your own initiation?
Hebrews 13:2 "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

Cassandra is a single young lady in search of a deeper walk with Christ. She is pursuing her college level studies from home and blogs at Content of Praise.

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{ Teri Lynne } at: September 12, 2009 at 1:57 PM said...

Powerful reminder. It is so easy in this fast-paced culture to get consumed by the "urgent" and miss the eternal ... I believe hospitality is one of those quickly-fading arts. I try to be open to those "divine appointments" but often, I confess, I find myself least hospitable to those in my own home.

{ Brooke McGlothlin } at: September 13, 2009 at 11:29 AM said...

This is an area where I certainly struggle right now. I have a heart to open my home, but with two little boys very much still in training it's intimidating for me to even think about it. I look forward to the season of my life where I can do this more and look for other ways to show outward expressions of hospitality in this one.

An issue every mom of young children struggles with...good thoughts!

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