Can you even imagine the possibility if this were true? Can you grasp the multiplication of blessing? What if we opened our doors and were proactive in seeking out others face to face in genuine community? What if we were free to open our hearts and homes to all that came seeking?
Recently, I was challenged by unexpected guests coming to visit and remembered a few verses tucked away in 3 John…they go like this, starting in verse 9.
“I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes who loves to be first, will not welcome us. So, when I come I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church. Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.”
The author, the apostle John, wasn’t happy. He made sure people knew what was going on with this self-absorbed man. John urged the church to show hospitality to people so that we may work together for the truth. Not the other way around. These guests were traveling believers that were not being treated well by some in the church.
True to his standard style of writing, John compares and contrasts ideas—he calls it what it is: Good vs. Evil. And anyone that does good is from God. And those that don’t, do not know God. In verse 12, the passage goes on to mention a specific guy named Demetrius. It says Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone, and even by the truth itself. Demetrius was doing good with what he had.
Here’s the bottom line…Model the good, don’t be like Diotrephes. Be like Demetrius.
Use whatever is at your disposal to build up, encourage, and to bless others. So, I ask, what prevents us from showing this kind of open handedness with our time, our home and our recourses?
Is it busyness? Perfectionism? Apathy?
In the culture of today, we can start by understanding the difference between blessing vs. impressing. It stems from seeing the difference between hospitality and entertaining. Hear this…
Entertaining boldly declares,
This is mine.
Hospitality subtly whispers,
What’s mine is yours.
These are powerful words. It’s not about our beautiful (or not so beautiful) belongings but about a generous attitude of the heart. It’s not how perfect your home is but how you use it. It’s about how good you make your guests feel when they are there. Allowing them to just come as they are!
Having been in the design business, I have seen first-hand the sheer panic when a client has guests coming. The stressing over every fabric choice and piece of fringe that no one will even remember shouldn’t be the focus. It’s not about making everything perfect, and this is a lesson hard-learned. (You can ask my family!) Trying to impress leaves one feeling underwhelmed and exhausted. I promise, guests probably wont remember the exact color scheme, but they will remember how they felt being in your home. It’s about a welcome conversation that triggers joy and well being, it’s about using your home and recourses to bring people together for the purpose of furthering the Kingdom. When we show hospitality we treat our guests in a manner worthy of the honor of our God.
And…. nothing is more beautiful than a gathering that is life giving and engaging!
So, be like Demetrius. Use whatever you have to bless those that God places in your path. Remember a great space is really about creating an atmosphere of connecting people to simply bless them. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Perfect is unattainable and so overrated.
Every house and home are as unique as the people that live there. The true blessing and real treasure is the people, not the things. Hospitality is about being wise and opening our hands to God to bless His people as they come and gather in His name.
Doesn’t our Lord of Hosts call us unto Himself the very same way?
“Come as you are, dear, just come as you are.”
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4