Good Old Christian Hospitality
Julia Bettencourt

...given to hospitality.   Romans 12:13

I love reading through Romans chapter 12. I always find something I need to work on. Romans 12 has such great "directions" as it were all in one passage on specifics of how we should behave as a Christian. I think it's one of those passages that we should share with new Christians but it's also one of those passages we need to visit and revisit as older Christians too.

Tips and pointers on various subjects is probably one of the most researched things on the Internet. I think this chapter in Romans is like a great search result for us for "Tips for Living the Christian Life". This chapter is a wonderful source of information.

It starts out in verses 1 and 2 of how we should live our lives as a sacrifice and holy. A great place to start! Verses 3-8 of that chapter goes on to talk about our spiritual gifts and verses 9 - 21 talks about how we should act, behave, and live our lives as a Christian. Isn't this chapter just chock full of those good tips and pointers that we need to know and need to implement in order to live for Christ more efficiently?

When we read through Romans 12:9-21 there are all of these things we should be doing as a Christian in regard to how we behave. It talks about our love, how we should regard evil, our diligence, how we should be patient in our tribulation or trials, our prayer life, and other things but when we reach verse 13 it talks about our hospitality. I just want to focus on that today.

"distributing to the necessity of the saints,
given to hospitality"
Romans 12:13

Right there in that chapter among what we would consider important things in our Christian lives, there is this reference to hospitality. That makes me think it's important too. I've been thinking a lot about hospitality. As a Christian this should be one of our traits. We should be hospitable people. There are just some people that we automatically think of as hospitable. It doesn't matter whether you go into their home or not as a guest, they are just hospitable anywhere they are. I'm sure you may know a few people like that too but we should actually all be hospitable as Christians no matter where we are. We should be "given to hospitality".

"Given to" is such a powerful phrase. It means that we are prone or disposed to something. We have a tendency or an inclination to it. When we are "given to" something we just automatically do it. It's part of our nature.

Hospitality refers basically to how we treat other people. Are we cordial, receptive, pleasant, generous? Do we treat other people in a manner as we would a guest? I have heard people say they don't want to be a Christian because a Christian treated them in a bad way or wasn't receptive to them. I've even heard people say they won't go to a certain church because it wasn't friendly or didn't welcome them. If we'd all be "given with hospitality" a little more I don't think we'd hear this as often.

Face it. People want to feel welcomed, loved, and have some kind of affection given towards them. That falls to us as a Christian. We are the ones Christ left to do that. Christ wants us to show His love to others.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:34,35

I don't think we can show this love to others if we turn them off the first time we meet them or have contact with them. We've got to be "given to hospitality" like it says in Romans 12.

I Peter 4 is another one of those passages full of good things to know as a Christian. Take a look at verse 9 in that chapter of how our hospitality should be. Again, right there in the midst of how we are no longer in the flesh and the importance of living in the spirit, hospitality is mentioned.

Use hospitality one to another without grudging. I Peter 4:9

I think that some people just naturally cringe when they are asked to do something hospitable. Like it's going to kill them to have to go out of their way to do something extra. Something above and beyond. What's wrong with going above and beyond? We've grown so complacent in how we live and how we act. I think we forget that longer vision of eternity. Without Christians in the world to show Christ's love, a big part of that through hospitality, how are we ever going to turn people to Christ? Also, how do we get along with other Christians when we lack that hospitality in our lives.

I'm not talking about Southern hospitality either. Although that's well and good but it's associated more with manners than anything else. I'm talking about good old Christian hospitality. Anyone can have a welcoming manner but our hospitality as Christians should come from deep within us because of our love for Christ. That's the kind of hospitality that we should be reflecting outward to others.

When we think of hospitality we sometimes only think of being hospitable in our homes for guests, but I don't think it's like that. We should exhibit it to others on a daily basis. Even with today's advances of Internet communication. It should be done with hospitality too. I've seen some online communication on message boards that wasn't so hospitable between Christians and I've gotten a few emails from other Christians that weren't too hospitable.

Conclusion
Thinking about hospitality so much has made me question how I come across to people. Am I as hospitable as I can be? Am I showing that love that Christ wants me to? Am I friendly on and offline? Do others see Christ in me everywhere I go?

Most of you are probably familiar with the pineapple being the universal symbol of hospitality. In colonial days, the pineapple was the highest form of hospitality to guests. It was put in the center of the table for company and often used for dessert for guests. It eventually became something that homemakers would stitch on tablecloths, napkins, quilts, and any surface they could express their hospitality to their guests on. We find pineapples carved into architecture of old homes and even furniture.

My goal is that I set out some pineapples in the future and etch more of them in my speech and attitude towards others. I think some pineapples of smiles, friendliness, kindness, and some good deeds for others might be in order.

So, have you set out some pineapples?

Copyright ©2001-2013 Julia Bettencourt
Scripture References are from the King James Version.
www.juliabettencourt.com



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  • Hospitality and Entertaining
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