“Let love of your fellow believers continue. Do not neglect to extend hospitality to strangers [especially among the family of believers— being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it”Hebrews 13:1-2 AMP
Hey everyone! I just wanted to take a few moments to share with you what has been on my heart of late. Sometimes it is so easy to be caught up in the mundane day to day life, or the excitements and disappointments of our own lives, that we forget about others. It’s not that we are intentionally trying to ignore others, or not make connections, but we are busy. I get it.
I have been trying to live a life that is intentional. In everything I do, I want to make sure I am pleasing God. From the music I listen to, the things I watch, the things I read, and in how I interact with people in my life. I want to maintain my relationship with Christ on a daily basis, not just at church on Sunday morning’s. I want to be intentional, I want my life to be a witness to those I come in contact with everyday! I don’t want my bad attitude to affect what someone thinks of God and His church.
Reading the verse at the top of this post, it states “ Do not neglect to extend hospitality to strangers…”
I wonder what would happen if we took this verse seriously. If we extended hospitality [friendliness, kindness, warmth, and benevolence] to everyone we met. Not just the person that looks like they have it all together, but maybe even someone that looks different than you do. We live in a society that is focused on the word tolerance. Everywhere we look, people are wanting to spread love and peace, which we do need! But, what happens if all people hear is about love and peace, and never hear the truth that is found in the Word of God?
What we need to do, is use love as a gateway to reach the lost. Love them as God loves us, and see what happens. When we love people, when we are intentional in our walk with God, and show people how genuine we are; that is our testimony. When people see how we react to getting the wrong thing at a restaurant, or how we act while driving in rush hour traffic; that is how we can show hospitality.
I am the first person to admit, I get frustrated when my drink is wrong from Starbucks, or if I hit every single red light on the way to where I am going – BUT, does it really matter?
We have been conditioned to think we are entitled to certain things, that we get so upset when it doesn’t go the way we want it to! Life is about dealing with ambiguity – how are we going to roll with the punches? Are we really going to let that ruin our day? I struggle with this SO much! I want things to go exactly as planned, but that doesn’t always happen, and learning to deal with that has been hard.
Being totally transparent, I HATE it when people are late, or when others make me late to things. This has been a hot issue with my husband and I since we were dating. For a good portion of the time that we have been together, I have allowed this to upset me so much and it has literally ruined my day! Looking back at it now, it seems so stupid, we still could have had a great time, but I ruined it.
How often does God feel that way? He throws unexpected circumstances our way to see how we will handle them. Will we get mad, and let it ruin our outlook on life? Or, will we take the challenge on and adapt?
The way we react to those things will affect our attitude. If we are crabby about something that happened – does that show the light of Jesus? When the Barista at Starbucks passes you your Vanilla Latte, and it has NO vanilla in it – are you going to make a scene, or just take it and drink it anyway? When you lose your job – are you going to sulk about it and complain, or work to find something else?
Others are watching how we react to life situations. Some even strangers that you encounter each week at the grocery store or the coffee shop. The scripture states we should love others the way that He loves us.
“See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him”1 John 3:10 AMP
God actually chose us! We have the honor to be called His children, the least we could do is be a witness to this lost world and show them the love that God has graciously bestowed upon us. We must be aware of those strangers around us. What are we showing them? Are we too caught up in the business of life to be hospitable to the strangers we meet everyday? Not just the strangers we meet, how about those family members, friends, and church family that we see every week. Are we being hospitable to them? Are we intentional about our relationships, or are we too caught up in what is on social media to be in the moment? Are we too busy worrying about the unknowns in life to pay attention to the people we see every day?
“Above all, have fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins [it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others]. Be hospitable to one another without complaint.”1 Peter 4:8-9 AMP
I am writing this as a reminder to myself, and wanted to share it with all of you. All in all, I want to be pleasing to God. It’s all about the great commission isn’t it? To go into all of the world preaching the gospel .. but how are we going to do that? With hospitality, selfless love, kindness, and willingness to serve. I challenge you, be intentional in your walk with God, pay attention to those you come in contact with everyday [strangers, family, friends], and be hospitable [kind, loving, gracious, compassionate], and see what happens.