"Entertainment has little to do with real hospitality." (Karen Mains)
I've been doing some research and studying on the blessings of hospitality lately, and when I read this quote the other day, it struck me for the first time that there is definitely a difference between entertainment and hospitality.
The Bible speaks about hospitality on a few occasions. You know how nice it feels when a friend or acquaintance invites your family over to their home for a meal? Sharing a meal together with friends and family can be a very bonding experience.
So, what's the difference between entertainment...and hospitality?
Entertainment can have some worldly purposes:
1. I want to impress you with my beautiful home, and my clever decorating.
2. I want to show off my gourmet cooking, or an expensive meal that I have brought into my home for us to enjoy together.
3. I want to show you my children and all of their accomplishments.
4. I want you to know about the nice neighborhood in which my family lives.
Hospitality is the attitude of wanting to bless others as they enter your home. For followers of Jesus Christ, hospitality has godly purposes:
1. This home is not mine. It is a gift from the Lord. All we have is from the Lord and belongs to Him.
2. Our family is here to serve you and help to meet your needs.
3. Our goal is not to impress, but to serve and be a blessing to our guests.
How can we tell if we have a problem with wanting to entertain, instead of wanting to bless others with hospitality?
~ When guests drop by unexpectedly, what are you thinking about? Only your messy house? Or how you can help your guests feel comfortable and encouraged?
~ Are you working so hard to prepare just the right food and home environment when you invite guests over that it's stressing you out to the point of exhaustion or irritability? Or high blood pressure?
~ Are you regularly apologizing to your guests for the condition of your home, or the simpleness of your meal?
I have caught myself thinking those thoughts at times. I remember an out-of-town friend who dropped by my home around 10:30 a.m. on a weekday, and I had not yet showered.
Yes, it happens sometimes. I get involved with projects during the summer, and sometimes forget to go shower until mid-morning - YIKES!
As my girls rushed to open the front door (as I had instructed them), I hid myself in the bathroom for 8.75 seconds and changed into some clothes. I think my embarrassment of not being prepared for guests discouraged my guest from feeling warmly welcomed, and when she left, I chided myself for not being prepared for her visit, even if it was unexpected.
Whether you are serving canned soup or roast leg of lamb, your guests will be blessed and encouraged if you have served them willingly and without embarrassment or showing off.
Begin to pray that you will view hospitality from a godly perspective, and that you will be able to develop the art of being hospitable. Ask God to begin showing you some of the people in your life who need encouragement and blessing.
Have you noticed that you occasionally have the wrong attitudes about hospitality? How have you worked through those issues?
Hi! I'm Julieanne!