2 Ways to Show Hospitality

Have you ever walked into a room of strangers, maybe at a new church, a mom’s playgroup, or a friendly evening dinner party and felt out of place? 

The other moms are already in conversation, the church has his circles of people chatting or all eyes fall on you when you show up late to that dinner party. It is not a fun feeling. You become self-conscious and very aware of your surroundings. 

Observing and hiding in the background are some of my finest introverted qualities, if you ask me. This serves me well when I want to avoid confrontation or serve others.  As for making new friends, stepping up when needed or anything similar it poses as a challenge.

I’ve written before about how we don’t need the “spiritual gift” of hospitality to obey a command to be hospitable. We don’t get to hide behind our closed doors or excuses of our personalities while the command to show hospitality has been laid in front of us. 

show hospitality

So how can we avoid being the one hiding in the shadows and begin to welcome the stranger and the community God has given us to serve in as well?

What does it mean to show hospitality and what Bible verses actually talk about hospitality? 

I’m so glad you asked.

I wanted to talk about two verses in scripture that talk about how to show hospitality. 

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:1-2

Here we see the writer of Hebrews sharing how a follower of Jesus can emulate his love to even a stranger. The word “philonexia” means entertain strangers or hospitality. This means the same thing. If we are entertaining, loving, caring for people we do not know then this is a form of how to show hospitality. 

What does this practically look like? 

The story of the Good Samaritan. Cold water for the thirsty. Warm food for the hungry. Conversation for the lonely. All for the stranger. 

How can you practically give a cup of cold water to someone this week that you don’t know?

Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Peter 4:9-10

This verse speaks not to the stranger among us, but to those who are part of our family. Those in community with us currently are who we are also to show hospitality to as well.

We can’t forget to serve those near us and around us. How many times I’ve begun the ministry thing and forgotten my first calling from God is my own family or my own church people!

We can’t focus on serving the stranger while missing those in the pew beside us. We need both. 

This verse also leaves us with no excuses to show hospitality. It doesn’t say serve fancy meals to those in your church family. 

It says two things about how to show hospitality: do it without complaining and use your special gifts to serve others. 

So often I find myself stepping up to the plate to serve in some way because “no one else would.” It is here where I find I complain the most… in jobs where I’m not necessarily gifted in and I’m frustrated due to someone else not showing up. Have you been here?

But scripture is clear… use your gifts… but also… don’t complain. 

In what ways can you serve those in your own biblical community this week, using your own gifts while also… not complaining? 

Entertaining strangers and serving those in your community seem like big commands. 

What if you feel like you’re not ready? Maybe you’re an introvert and “people-ing” isn’t your thing? What if I don’t know where to start? 

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Dwelling with God