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As believers, we should always have fellowships and show hospitality to other people regardless of who they are. In doing so, we end up practicing what the word of God instructs us, and most importantly, we emulate the excellent example that Christ Jesus showed to us.
Christian hospitality is vital in the life of a believer, but unfortunately, it is usually misunderstood by so many Christians. Christian Hospitality is when we meet strangers, show them love no matter who they are, accept them as our neighbors, and also see them as potential members of the family of God.
When I got saved, I did not understand nor have a clue what Christian hospitality is all about. I was a new believer with not much experience, and I thought that once I read the word of God, involved myself in prayers, and went to church on Sundays and attended some fellowships, that was all that a Christian needed to do. I did not understand that the life of a faithful Christian involves so many aspects and doctrines that have to be exercised without fail. Honestly, I understood a few doctrines, such as giving and humility, but I still had a long way to go when it came to hospitality.
All I knew about hospitality is that the only people I should welcome in my day-to-day life were my fellow believers. For the first few months after I got saved, I avoided the people who were in my old life and had not given their life to Christ yet. I also avoided anyone else I deemed a sinner. I saw them as strangers, and all they saw in me was a proud young man who claimed to be saved but still not transformed by the gospel. I created enmity with them, and they hated the new life I was living. One of them even dared to say to my face, “If that is the kind of life that one has to live after accepting Christ, let me remain the way I am.”
The statement shocked me, and I questioned my behavior that I had to see my spiritual mentor for some guidance concerning that issue.
I finally realized that I was wrong because I was judging others, which is against the word of God, and secondly, I showed love to other people but selectively. Someone had to remind me that I am only saved by grace, and I cannot treat others as lesser.
The gospel itself is based on hospitality. We are all born sinners. We are not in an intimate and healthy relationship with God from birth due to man’s original sin.
However, God has given us hope through his act of hospitality.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
He gave his only son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, and so when we believe in him, we are saved and welcomed in his kingdom. God loved us and looked for us before we did it. Indeed, his hospitality has restored our relationship with him.
Jesus always showed hospitality throughout his ministry of three years. He welcomed and associated with anyone, including those that were deemed as sinners and outcasts in society. We should emulate Jesus not only as a personal moral example but also as a social example.
In fact, as followers of Christ, we should emulate Jesus in all aspects without overlooking any of them. Jesus showed hospitality to a sinful woman while Simon only saw the woman as a sinner who should have been avoided (Luke 7:36-50). He also taught us that we should not show hospitality only to our families but also to the outsiders and the needy like the poor and the disabled in society (Luke 14:12-14).
That means that we should not limit our hospitality to only the people who can repay us or help us in one way or the other.
Also, when Jesus was in the house of Levi, he showed hospitality to tax collectors and other sinners that even the Pharisees questioned his disciples about it
Jesus answered by telling the Pharisees that He had come for the sake of sinners.
These examples show how Jesus was involved in hospitality non-selectively. He ate with sinners, and they ended up being saved. Therefore, since hospitality was critical in winning souls during the ministry of Jesus, we should also embrace it as Christians to expand the family of faith.
The Bible reminds us to “contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality” (Romans 12:13). We should not only show hospitality to our fellow believers but also strangers. Our first mandate is to show hospitality to each other as believers that other people may see our love for one another. Hospitality is one way of doing good to other people, which should start amongst the members of the household of faith before expanding outwards to other people (Galatians 6:10). That is because hospitality is not minus love. We only welcome people when we develop some love for them.
The other group that we should welcome to our Christian homes is the strangers. Strangers are people who are outside the family of faith or the needy. The word of God reminds us that we should “not neglect to show hospitality to strangers; for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2). One category of the needy that we should open our homes for is the sinners. We should welcome drug addicts, fornicators, adulterers, and other sinners to our Christian homes that we may evangelize to them. But we may not know precisely who the sinner is and who is not, and therefore hospitality is to be shown to anyone.
Once we interact with those we open our homes to, we get to know them, and if they are not saved, we get a good chance of sharing the good news with them. As followers of Jesus Christ, we should not just wait for people to come to us, but we should also pursue and welcome them. Even Jesus sought most of his disciples and not the other way round.
Indeed, hospitality is not only nice but also necessary. Showing hospitality to other people is a command and hence doing contrary to it becomes a sin. We should show love and kindness to everyone we meet, including sinners and those who need us more than we need them. We can emulate the example of Jesus’ hospitality by dining with strangers and building solid relationships with them over the meal. Being an example and always giving thanks for the food you have been blessed with.
Thank you for reading; may God bless you. Have A Wonderful day! 🙂