“Distributing to the necessity of saints;
given to hospitality.”
Helping others requires a spirit of hospitality. Without it, we’re not likely to open our hearts, homes, and hands to someone else’s needs. On the other hand, if others don’t see a heartfelt benevolence expressed with sincere love and compassion, they aren’t likely to believe in us or accept our contribution to their needs. People can see when we’re not willing and welcoming.
We saw in the Greek definitions that hospitality means “hospitableness.” Notice how “Hospitable” is defined in the Websters 1828 Dictionary:
1. Receiving and entertaining strangers, with kindness and without reward; kind to strangers and guests; disposed to treat guests with generous kindness;
Over the years, I’ve felt the sting of receiving help without the spirit of hospitality. I’ve received meaningless gifts that I could tell weren’t given with love or thoughtfulness. I’ve eaten meals that were hard to swallow because they weren’t served with generosity or kindness. I’ve felt lonely at gatherings where the hostess and her friends ignored me. I’ve had to ask people for help who resented me asking. I’ve felt abandonment and rejection.
I’ve not only experienced these hurtful situations. I’ve seen how I too could have made others feel this same pain, and it grieves me terribly. No one wants help from someone who resents helping.
If we’re uncomfortable with hosting, our guests will feel uncomfortable. When we’re at ease in our homes and our hearts are sincere, our guests will be at ease in our homes and feel the love. No one enjoys feeling like a burden to their host.
Helping others goes beyond serving and sharing. It takes being “given to hospitality.” Simply put, our spirits, priorities and motives have to be in the right place. We have to remember our Spiritual purpose.
We can’t be hospitable to another Christian’s needs our way. We have to be considerate of their current situation and how they need or prefer their needs to be met.
Most people don’t like their personal business broadcast. Some don’t like parties, surprises, public prayer requests, or being put on the spot or embarrassed. That is why it’s important that we use discretion in our approach to distributing to the needs. If we truly care, we will consider a person’s:
- Busy schedule
- Privacy preference
- Dietary need
- Emotional condition
- Spiritual and Mental Stability
- Work load
- Family obligations
We should never overstep other people’s boundaries in our effort to help. Some people don’t want help. We can offer, but if that offer is rejected, we have to accept it, and pray that God will soften their hearts to assistance.
Once we understand the situation and needs and have permission, we can help by:
- Praying for discernment and guidance
- Encouraging the person in need
- Trying to help meet the need
- Referring them to other sources for better assistance
- Following up until the needs are met
We can’t meet every need. We’re not God and we can’t be anyone’s Savior. We can graciously help those in our sphere of influence to see God in us through our spirit of hospitality and willingness to lend a hand when we’re able.
Everyone could benefit from a dose of hospitality. This includes the Christians in our circle of service. Let’s show them that we care by how we care.
Bring It Home
Could you use a little hospitality and care today?
Praying for you as we grow together,