In Other Words

Today’s Quote:
“The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love having a houseful of people. I’ve learned that hospitality has very little to do with how clean your house is, how well-decorated, or even how big it is. It has much more to do with how open your door is, how open your arms are, and how open your heart is.

The Bible exhorts us to show hospitality – but, to whom?

“Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” ~Romans 12:13

“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” ~1 Peter 4:9

“We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.” ~3 John 1:8

In that first verse, the word for hospitality is the Greek word “philoxenia”, which means “entertainment of strangers”. In the context of the verse, Paul is talking about the body of Christ.

In the second verse, the word for hospitality is the Greek word “philoxenos” – simply meaning “hospitable”. In the context, he’s exhorting believers to love each other deeply, and love covering sin. He’s speaking of extending grace to our fellow Christians.

In the final verse, the word is “hypolambano”, meaning “to take up; to show hospitality; to reply; to suppose, think, or believe”. I think the context of this verse is shown 2 verses previously:

“Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you.” vs.5

I think it’s pretty clear that the Lord wants us to show kindness and hospitality to our fellow believers in Christ above anyone else. Whether we know them or not. Our homes should be their homes. No matter what.

Allowing for personality differences, our level of hospitality should reach just beyond our comfort level. My comfort level is pretty high in this area – but already I see an area where I need to grow. I need to reach out to more than just my friends. I need to reach out to the people I don’t yet know.

If my house is a welcoming, open place for anyone – and I mean anyone – to come, then my house is richly decorated! Despite the unmopped floor, the laundry piles in the hallway, and the toys waiting to be stepped on, my home is tastefully and artfully decorated in the style of fellowship.

One note on the third verse I shared – one of the meanings of hospitality struck me. “Reply”. Hm. I think this means God wants us to return phone calls, emails, and other correspondance! Don’t leave people hanging!

Boy, this post was rambling. But, my thoughts were too. I can’t organize them today. Ain’t happening. Oh well…I hope you were blessed!

Read more “In Other Words” posts.


3 thoughts on “In Other Words

  1. Entertaining strangers – now that sounds stretching. Actually, it usually seems like we are the ones new to church or to the neighborhood, so I’m pretty good at inviting over people I don’t know. Otherwise, how would we get to know anyone? 🙂
    Hospitality seems to be a lost art, but it is definitely something that needs to be part of our lives.

  2. Wow…great post and definetely a lot of thoughts much needed to consider! “Allowing for personality differences, our level of hospitality should reach just beyond our comfort level.

    That is so so true that we need to some times learn to take that step beyond our comfort zone.

  3. Oh, how I love Greek word studies. This took some looking into… Thank you. Have you discovered “Sparkling Gems from the Greek” by Rick Renner? Awesome insight. Just proves how complete and inerrant God’s Word really is! Returning phone calls and e-mails??!! Yikes.
    Nice blog! btw…I won my husband the other day in Scrabble with the word “doula” as he challenged me!

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