Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105

Bible Study Notes

The Character of Hospitality

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Is a willingness to share what God has given us.
Is the Character of Hospitality working in you?
 
 Here is how you can find out. Take a careful look at this character and fruit of Hospitality from God's most precious Word, by examining the passages below. Now ask yourself:
 
  1. How do I exhibit Hospitality in my daily life?
  2. What can I do to develop a better willingness to be Hospitable and to value people?
  3. What blocks Hospitality from working and being exhibited in me?
  4. How can I make Hospitality function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainly and stress? 

·        Here are positive examples from Scripture (Genesis 12:14-20; 20:4-15; 1 Kings 17:10-24; Luke 19:1-10; Acts 28:2)  

·        Here are negative examples from Scripture (Numbers 20:18-21; 21:21-31; Judges 19:15; 1 Samuel 25:10-38; Luke 9:51-5610:30-37) 

Hospitality is a willingness to share, with discernment, what God has given us, including our family, home, finances, and food. It is an attitude of stewardship, where we do not own anything because we are merely the caretaker for the real owner, God. He desires us to share His stuff, and we comply out of reverence and gratitude to Him. In relationships, it is honoring the boundaries of others, and sharing all we have without strings attached (Matthew 25:34-43; Luke 10:30-37; Romans 12:13: 16:33; 1 Timothy 5:10; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:7-11; 3 John 1:5-8).

 

Unfriendliness, Inhospitality, Animosity, and being Annoyed, are the opposites. These ill-begotten feelings will allow you to push others away, and give up precious friendships and opportunities for personal growth through networking, connections, and fellowship. These are rotten fruits of egocentricity, as you only see the world as it revolves around you, and you miss seeing the value of others. With this attitude, you will not develop good friendships or be effective in the church, neighborhood, or workplace.  

Further Questions 

  1. How would you define Hospitality? Are you a hospitable person? What about people you do not like? You may not have to invite them into your home, but how do you treat them?

 

  1. What part does Hospitality play in your relationships with church members, friends, coworkers, and family?

 

  1. How does being annoyed counteract Hospitality? What is the cost to others (God, family, friends, neighbors, church, workplace, etc.) when you are a person who is inhospitable?

 

  1. What happens to your relationship with God, with others, and with the opportunities God gives you, when you are unfriendly or are unwilling to share?

 

  1. When have you been filled with Hospitality the most?

 

  1. In what situation did you fail to be Welcoming when you should have?

 

  1. What issue is in your life that would improve with more Hospitality? Do you just give advice, or do you also lend a hand?

 

  1. Think through the steps you need to take to put Hospitality into action in a specific instance. Ask yourself, who can I invite to my home in order to get to know them better? Who has a need that I may help to fulfill? Where is Hospitality not functioning properly in my church? What can I do about it?

 

Hospitality is rendering unto others what God has given us, including comfort, sharing our food, and friendship. It is often considered to be a Spiritual Gift. As a Spiritual Gift, Hospitality is the ability to provide an open house and a warm welcome to those in need of food and lodging (Acts 16:14-15 Romans 12:9-13 Romans 16:23 Hebrews 13:1-2 1 Peter 4:9). Many Christians use the excuse, since I do not have the Gift of Hospitality I do not have to welcome others. This is a very dismal view, and totally goes against the precepts of Scripture. It is, in fact, sin to think this way! Yes, it is a Spiritual Gift, and those who possess it will be extra diligent to put it into practice, and network with others to make this Gift function in abundance. It is like love; we all are called to love (1 Corinthians 13).  

Do you realize the seriousness of your faith? Christianity is not a recreational activity; it is a matter of your heart. It affects your Will, and moves your hands and feet. Do not forget to be Hospitable! Even though you may not like to talk to neighbors, meet new people, or great strangers with a kind word and a smile, you are called to do so! Do you try to make people comfortable, or are you careless? You have to be willing to ask, Am I being kind to others, or am I in such a rush, I have no time? If it is a rush, then your priorities are skewed, because, to God, relationships are priority number one! This does not mean we are so chatty we neglect our other responsibilities, but we have to be willing to go beyond our comfort zone and engage people with Christ-like character!  

            Hospitality also means we are contributing to the development and growth of our family, friends, and fellow Christians. Hospitality is the door to discipleship. Without hospitality, Discipleship cannot function--and Discipleship is the quintessential call that Christ gives us, the Church, to do, above all else (Matthew 28: 18-20)! We must be willing to go beyond our preconceived needs, comforts, and ideas to provide an ambiance which contributes to the physical and spiritual growth of people around us. If we do not, how will they know we are Christians? If we do not, how will Discipleship and the growth of the Church happen? It is not just a gift--it is a call to us all! So, put into practice good Hospitality by practicing Godly Character and good social etiquette. Be the one to help others feel important. Be the one who returns the kindnesses you are given. Be the first one to greet visitors who come to your church, and invite them to your home for fellowship, and lunch. Godly Hospitality will not expect anything in return! 
 

© 2003 R. J. Krejcir, Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org  

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