Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Talk About It Tuesday - Practicing Hospitality - Week 1

Today begins my weekly discussion of the book “Practicing Hospitality: The Joy of Serving Others” by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock. It is my desire to be a good hostess and to do so with the right motives and proper attitudes. I hope to gain insight from this book about how to achieve such a goal and how to do so from a Christian perspective.

If you do not have the book, you can order it here or read online here. I think you are limited to reading 30 pages in a 24-hour time period.

The authors state in the Introduction:

Our book focuses on developing both the Christian character and practical skills so that the act of hospitality is a joy for the host and hostess and a source of encouragement for the guest.
Sign me up!

Chapter 1 is entitled “Hospitality and Character.” The authors use the word “Hospitality” to create an anagram to describe a person of Christian character who practices hospitality:

I-Interested in Integrity
A-Adopted into God’s Family
L-Led by the Spirit
I-Instrumental in Producing Righteousness

They use scripture to back up each criterion. I’ll summarize each one.

Humble (I Peter 5:5, Matthew 5:3) - Sometimes I must step out of my comfort zone to practice hospitality. Maybe I feel inferior to someone or I think my home isn’t decorated properly, or … or … or … . I need to set aside that measure of pride in order to serve properly.

Obedient (Romans 12:13, Hebrews 13:2, I Peter 4:9) - Scripture tells me to be hospitable. And I am to be obedient to scripture. On top of that, I must be obedient with a proper attitude and serve as unto the Lord. I don’t know how my act of hospitality may influence others toward Christ.

Sincere (Philippians 1:10) - In order to please the Father, I must be sincere when I extend hospitality. I must be genuine.

Prayerful (I Thessalonians 5:17) - I must ask the Father to give me the grace to practice hospitality in the proper manner, one that brings glory to Him.

Interested in Integrity (Psalm 25:21) - I must be willing to choose what is right when given the choice, even if it is not the popular choice.

Trustworthy (Proverbs 31:11) - People whom I serve must be able to trust that my motives are pure and that I will not turn them away or betray their confidences

Adopted into God’s Family (Romans 8:15) - I am adopted as a child of God. My actions must reflect the character of my Father.

Led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14) - I must live the life of a Godly woman.

Instrumental in Producing Righteousness (Romans 6:12-13, II Corinthians 10:5) - I must choose to think pure thoughts, take my worries to God, and pray for his guidance.

Thankful (Colossians 3:15) - I must be content with my circumstances and practice thanksgiving for the things (concrete and abstract) that I have.

Yielded (Romans 6:19) – I show my love to the Father when I practice what he preaches. I must be willing to follow his lead.

What I found most interesting about this first chapter is that these are things I need to apply to my life as a Christian, regardless of my season or regardless of whether I'm exercising hospitality in my home. It’s just how I am supposed to live.

What do you think? Do you have any insight or anything you’d like to add? I’d love to know your thoughts. It gets lonely talking to myself!

Daily Bible Reading Plan

I Samuel 6-8; Psalm 97; Matthew 10:17-34; II Corinthians 2

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope your day is full of blessings!

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