As many of you know we live in an RV and do quite a lot of traveling. We are always guests in a campground. We are always trying to be good guests. We travel with three dogs and make sure we pick up after them. We make sure to pick up our trash and put it away properly. We stay out of occupied camp sites unless we are invited to come in and sit down. We follow the speed limit and observe the quiet hours.
I guess you could say we are rule followers in a time when so many people seem to think the rules don’t apply to them. So why are we so focused on following the rules? We want to be good guests and be welcome the next time we visit!
Have you ever had company for dinner and they come tromping into your house with little regard for your carpet, your furniture or you. They interrupt you, they are critical of your meal, talk about their troubles and seem to care nothing for yours. By the time they leave, you are exhausted, feel incompetent, and have decided you will never invite them into your home again. Who needs friends like that?
I do! As a daughter of Christ I am to practice the ministry of hospitality. That doesn’t mean I allow people to walk all over me but I love them where they are. There are some people I might not invite into my home, but would gladly meet them at a coffee shop for an hour or two. Practicing hospitality doesn’t mean opening myself and my home to be scritinized and criticized. Having healthy relationships and staying healthy myself means setting healthy boundaries!
Being hospitable is to make time for others.
I must be willing to sit down and allow God to open the dialogue between us and allow Him to lead me in my answers and my queries. It is a time for me to comfort, encourage, lift up, come along side, exhibit the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, mercy, and self control Gal. 5:22). Only through God’s grace can I practice true hospitality!
I like to try practicing hospitality when I’m out of my home too. There are many places people can use a smile or an encouraging word. Just being kind to a stranger is an act of hospitality. The cool part, you can do it anywhere! The grocery store, gas station, restaurant, friend’s house, coffee stand, and camp ground. The list is endless.
I pray God allows me to see the hospitality needs of others and gives me the strength, courage and bravery to go ahead and step out of my comfort zone and meet that need. It is only through these my willingness to be alert to these moments that God can use me to bring someone else into contact with Him. Many people throw around the question, “What would Jesus do?” or the statement, “You might be the only Jesus that person ever sees.” There is truth in both.
Jesus looks on this world and the crowning creation seeking a passionate relationship with each of us. He longs for us to turn to Him so He can shower His gifts upon us. He longs to demonstrate Himself through His people and I am one of them! Wow! What an honor to be called a daughter of Christ!
Why then am I not dancing in the streets and proclaiming Him to everyone I see? Too often I believe it is seeds of doubt planted by the evil one. The Bible tells us Satan roams about seeking those he can devour. He loves to interrupt the fellowship of Christians with their Savior. Of course, he can only do that through distracting me, Christ stays constant and loves me just as passionately when I’m walking in His light as when I stray from the path he laid before me.
God, keep me in harmony with you that I might be hospitable to those you put in my path!