Demonstrating Hospitality to Others
1 Showing hospitality is rewarding to both the giver and the receiver. It is a Christian obligation. (Heb. 13:2) Some are now in the truth due partly to the good influence that Christian hospitality had on them. Do you demonstrate genuine hospitality? Are you seeking ways to improve in doing so?
2 Hospitality is defined as “the cordial and generous reception and entertainment of guests or strangers.” The word “cordial” comes from a Latin word that relates to the heart. So for hospitality to be genuine and rewarding it must come from the heart. Like Lydia, a genuinely hospitable person just ‘makes the guest come.’ (Acts 16:14, 15) Truly hospitable people look for opportunities to extend kindness to others.
HOW IT IS SHOWN
3 How can we show hospitality? To whom can it be shown? Hospitality was shown, in ancient times, to prophets and special servants of God. Some even entertained angels because of manifesting the spirit of hospitality. (Gen. 18:3, 8) Imagine the rewards received by Zacchaeus, Martha, Mary and Lazarus because they displayed human kindness to Jesus! (Luke 19:5-10; 10:38-42) In our day many have similarly been blessed by being hospitable to traveling overseers, visiting speakers, pioneers and missionaries.—Rom. 1:11.
4 Also, there are new ones in the congregation who will benefit from our hospitality. Some in the congregation may be shy. Others may be of little means, while still others are advanced in age or failing in health. Some youths do not have parents in the truth. What effect would it have on them if they were invited into our home for a meal, some form of wholesome recreation or to join in a period of study? Remember the wise advice of Jesus at Luke 14:12-14.
5 Our displaying hospitality should not be limited to those associated with the congregation. Do we respond hospitably when our neighbors are in need due to an accident, sickness or a death in the family? Do we take advantage of opportunities to extend hospitality to relatives? We should be balanced and use good judgment in devoting precious time to these things; maybe we could use such opportunities to give them an informal witness or words of encouragement, in addition to possibly helping in other ways.
6 Showing Christian hospitality takes time and effort. But this giving of ourselves helps to identify us as Christ’s disciples. (John 13:35) Jehovah wants us to be givers. We get more satisfaction and happiness from giving than from receiving. (Acts 20:35) Although extra work is involved, we want to have in mind that work is a gift from God. (Eccl. 3:13) The generous soul can expect a reward for his cordial giving.—Prov. 11:25; Luke 6:38.
7 We experience deep joy when we see that our Christian hospitality has influenced someone to have a full share in the more important giving, Kingdom preaching. What satisfaction will be ours if we observe ones to whom we were hospitable partaking of Jehovah’s eternal provisions in the New Order! Yes, demonstrating hospitality to others can be eternally rewarding to both the givers and the receivers.—Matt. 25:34-40.