The Heart Of Hospitality

Putting In Your Whole Heart and Making It Matter

I'm hoping I'm not the only one that may hesitate for even one beat of my heart when it comes to hosting out of town guests. My mind goes directly towards getting the guest room ready, making sure there are clean towels in the bathroom, thinking of meals and making a grocery list all at once. I find that if I focus on those things, I forget the joy of fellowship. Of sharing, laughing together, or offering a shoulder to cry on. But listen to this:

"When you change the way you look at things, you change the way things look"

Such a true statement! Our minds have a way of going toward the uncomfortable things in life and begging us to ponder those instead of focusing on what is true, honorable, right, pure, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise (Phillipians 4:8). My fleshly mind goes to what might be hard for me, not my guest! (i.e. "I'll have to get up early to make breakfast", "I have to entertain them", "My house isn't as clean as I want it to be", etc.) Do I hear anyone else feeling this way??

Fortunately,, God gives us a remedy for these situations, sometimes called S-T-R-E-S-S. He tells us to pray! Now I don't know about you, but I need to sit for awhile and complain to myself (and to God), and THEN I pray. Just being honest here! God tells us not to be anxious about ANYTHING. Instead He says with prayer and thanksgiving (huh?), let my requests be made known to God. (Phillipians 4:6). It's as if God was writing this verse for me and to me! It's very hard to give thanks when you are stressed, but that is what God commands us to do.

And this is what He promises in return:

"And the Peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus". To me that is mind-blowing! Only God can take a complaining heart and turn it into peace! Not only that, but He sets a guard around my heart AND my mind so that I can actually think about the good.

"What consumes your mind controls your life"

Only after I have settled my mind and heart on Jesus, am I able to think about my guest and not about myself. What will he/she like? How can I make it extra cozy for them during their stay? What special food can I make for them? And I do have to confess, at this point it actually becomes fun! And when it is time to open my front door and welcome them in, I truly do welcome them. I'm happy to have them share in the place God has given me to live at this moment in life. I want to hear how they are doing in their corner of the world. And most times, it's me that gains from their visit!!! God has a way of speaking to me through my guests. I just wish I wasn't so resistant to learning!

The biggest thing I've learned from having guests in my home is that my heart matters. I Corinthians 13 says even if I do great things and do not have love, it is as nothing. My heart matters. And my mind matters because it feeds my heart. I want my actions to matter to God. I want God to be able to trust me to build up and encourage and love those people He sends my way and not disappoint Him because I'm being selfish.

"What you focus on becomes your reality"

I'm choosing to focus on thos things that are true, honorable, right, pure, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. How about you?

P. S. -You are welcome at my home anytime!

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