1 Peter 4:7-11
7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:7-11, ESV)
I’d like to use these words from Peter as our framework for today. When I think about the word hospitality and all it has grown to mean to me over the years, I think of many different things. I think about changing the sheets on my bed before a guest came to stay at our house as a child. I think of my mom tirelessly baking someone’s favorite things. I think of the times someone unexpectedly paid for my lunch in college when it was a treat to go out in the first place. I also think of the stress all of those tasks can put on the hostess.
Often we attempt to equate a heart of hospitality with an outer appearance of perfection by cleaning and dusting the parts of our lives we want others to never be witnesses of.
But when it really comes down to it, hospitality isn’t about perfection, clean sheets or a dusted coffee table. It’s about learning to love others to the point where their world is a part of yours. It’s sharing burdens and blessings just as much as tears and giggles.
That kind of friendship and hospitality requires sacrifice. Like Peter says in verse 9, show hospitality to one another without grumbling. Sometimes that means picking up your child’s friend from school to help a single mother out. Or maybe it means helping a friend move into a new home with a good attitude (nobody likes moving, let’s be real). At the end of the day, I think hospitality is showing others the love of Christ in our everyday actions – when it’s easy but especially when it’s hard.
So the next time friendship requires a little sacrifice, maybe it’s the Lord calling you to take steps of boldness in the area of hospitality. And I can guarantee those steps of boldness will never be to have a perfectly clean home – He never called us to perfection, just obedience.
Let’s pray this week that we wouldn’t settle for mediocrity in our relationships with the people around us. But that we would reach out a hand, cook a meal, give a hug, open a door, move some boxes or brew a pot of coffee to make someone else’s load feel just a little bit lighter.
Make your home a place where others know that Christ exists.