3 John 1:7-8 (NIV) It was for the sake of The NAME that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.
In the West, privacy has always been a valuable commodity. But now that we can hide behind technology, most of our social interactions are done through the cold monitor of an I-Pad on “Social Media.”
By not enjoying meaningful, real-time interactions with other human beings, we are rapidly losing the necessary non-verbal skills that are intrinsic to every intelligent dialogue between two or more persons.
Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of “Silent Messages: Implicit Communications of Emotions and Attitude,” finds that 7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc). Subtracting the 7% for actual vocal content leaves one with a 93% statistic. In other words, we communicate much more via deeds than we do with words.
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1John 3:18)
The spiritual discipline of hospitality presents us with a wonderful opportunity to sharpen or re-learn the skills that are required in order to live a prosperous and happy life.
The Scriptures tell us that we should not forget to show hospitality to strangers, because by doing so, many Biblical figures have entertained Angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:12)
Hospitality was elevated by Lord Jesus as one of the qualifying character traits of a person who has been called to the Pastoral Ministry. (1Tim.3:2; Titus 1:8)
Many of us have heard about the Biblical “spiritual discipline” of Hospitality, but have never been taught the science behind the method. Once the spiritually-minded person understands some of the reasons and benefits of hospitality, he or she will want to joyfully repeat the experience as often as possible.
The foundational reason for Biblical hospitality is based upon the doctrine of the Imago Dei (Image of God). The Bible teaches that human beings were created in the Image and Likeness of God. (Gen. 1:26; 5:1-2, et. al.) When God gave the 10 Commandments to the Israelites, He gave the prophet two stone “Tablets” upon which had been inscribed God’s minimum, covenantal expectations. (Exodus 31:18)
One of the Tablets of the Law contained God’s expectations regarding His Person. The other Tablet contained commandments pertaining to our relationship with other human beings. The two Tablets of the Law actually represent the three-tiered Imago Dei relationship between God, the individual devotee and his neighbor. The reason for this is because we cannot be in communion with God unless we also strive to be in good standing with our neighbor.
This means, that the highest form of worship that a human being can offer to God, is by offering obeisance, respect, and service to another person.
This is the main reason why the Faith of Abraham rejected the use of hand-made images (deities/idols) as means of devotion or worship of the Almighty Creator. The Faith of Abraham considers it a waste of energy (regardless of good intentions) to use lifeless images as means for worship of the divine, when there are so many living beings that can benefit as means of devotion to God. Not only this… It is infinitely more pleasing to God to honor human beings as living Images of the Creator, than it is to offer the best of sacrifices. (Isaiah 1:10-20; Mark 7:9-13)
1 John 4:20-21 (NIV)- If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And we have this commandment from Him: Whoever loves God must love his brother as well.
Christian hospitality is an opportunity to worship God in a very special and intimate way. No Biblical sacrifice ever comes without a price. 1 Samuel 24:24
Hosting guests is a spiritual opportunity such as fasting, because through it we deny ourselves our preferences and conveniences, in order to make our guests as comfortable and cared for as possible….
If you are sacrificing a little privacy in order to bless others, the blessings that come as a result of your love-filled efforts will lead you to the existential realization that you have been a host to Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
Matthew 25:35 (ESV) For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…