I love it. I love hosting people, especially those in ministry. I love turning my home into a little hospital for the body, soul, and spirit of those who enter. It really isn't my gift, just a passion. And I want to do it well.
There is an order to it. And first things must come first.
So what exactly comes first when you are dealing with hospitality?
Gift basket shopping?
There is something else way more important. Actually, it is the most central and vital element of the whole process. The success of everything else actually hinges on this one aspect.
Often, hosting people in our homes is a Martha load of work, but if we have the Martha spirit it will ruin every effort. We need a Mary spirit through it all.
Luke 10:38-42 "Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
We recently hosted a group who had come for survey purposes. They were here for about a week. I knew the workload was about to rise dramatically, but my greatest desire was to finish the week without being "cumbered about" and "troubled." (Now that's a tall order!)
The first thing to prepare isn't towels and scrubbing things and menus. The first thing to prepare is our hearts.
Why am I hosting these people? Where is my heart in it? Is it a grudgingly done task?
1 Peter 4:9 "Use hospitality one to another without grudging."
Everything we do is supposed to be for God's glory. That's the whole sum of the matter. Hospitality is for the Lord no matter who we are serving.
When the heart is right, everything else will fall into place because everything will be done in His strength and guided by His leadership.
So how do you prepare your heart?
Just like Mary.
Sit at His feet in the time leading up to your opportunity of hospitality. Do not neglect quiet time alone with Him. And pray...
- Faithfulness to your quiet time each day.
- A soft heart toward God's leading.
- Right priorities during your guests' stay.
- Wisdom in decisions, purchases, and preparations.
- A kind tongue.
- Provision for the things you will need to serve your guests.
- A gracious and giving heart... That you will give your home and things to the Lord so that you can in turn easily give to your guests.
- An enduring/forbearing love that can overlook offenses.
- Those who are going to be staying in your home. Ask God to use you in their lives. Ask Him to help you see needs that they may not express. Ask Him to help you walk in their shoes mentally.
- The mind of Christ.
Now that our hearts are ready, let's take the next step.
To be continued...
by Charity, Southern Asia