23.5.16

Should We Allow Strangers into Our Homes?

     by Sally Matheny

   
Strangers in Our Homes
 If a stranger shows up at my front door, nine times out of ten, I’m not letting him in. I may not even go to the door. I suppose I’ve listened to too many horror stories. Some were fictional. Some were real.

     Maybe you’re brave and open your door every time. The Bible does say,
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:1-2(NIV)

     However, you could be like me. You listened to the school presentations on stranger danger. Crime stories in the news made an impression. Let’s not forget there are also numerous scriptures mentioning the necessity of posting guards.

     So, should we allow strangers into their homes?


     At times, evil does lurk at the door and we must be on our guard. It's wise to practice safety and pray for discernment.

     Yet, God still commands us to practice hospitality to strangers. Have you ever thought about all the different types of strangers?

     Consider these possible strangers:

Your Spouse’s Co-Workers

Your Child’s New Friends at School

The Visitors at Church

A Group of Teens

A Group of Senior Citizens

The New Employee at Work

Children in Foster Homes

Emergency Personnel

Temporary Residents in a Homeless Shelter

The New Member in Your Organization, Club, or Support Group

     See how many different types of strangers there are? You probably can think of more. In addition, there are just as many ways to show hospitality.

     You know, that verse in the book of Hebrews does not say for us to show hospitality only in our homes. In fact, it doesn’t even mention the home. While inviting someone to our home is great, there are many other ways to demonstrate hospitality.

     Hospitality is:

        Expressing a sincere welcome (verbally; with a handshake, card, or gift)

        Providing a meal or refreshments

        Spending time mentoring, talking, and listening to others

        Lending a hand to those in need

        Volunteering

        Speaking kind, uplifting words

        Doing thoughtful deeds

        Giving of time and talents without resentment

Standing by the new guy—if it’s the right thing to do—even if everyone else is walking away.

        Helping someone who has been hurt physically or emotionally

        Smiling and being friendly

        Doing for others what you hope someone would do for you

Do for others what you hope someone would do for you
     
     Psalm 91 mentions God’s placement of angels to guard over those who trust in Him. Surely, if we show hospitality to even “one of the least of these,” we have shown hospitality to the angels watching over them.

     Being hospitable is not always easy. It usually requires some form of sacrifice. Selfish gain and pride threaten to smear it into something ugly. And even with the best of intentions, the results may not be what we expected.

     Still, God calls us to serve. Serving with a joyful heart makes all the difference. The purest form of hospitality is serving without expecting anything in return.


Welcome to Our Home
     A stranger will soon arrive at the front door of our home. He needs a place to stay for two and half months while he plays in a collegiate summer baseball league based in our hometown. 

     Surely, it’s stretching his comfort zone—living with strangers in an unfamiliar place. My family is already talking about ways we can welcome him to our little town and into our family. Who knew we would be so excited about allowing a stranger into our home? 

     We don’t know if he'll be accompanied by an angel. It would be awesome if he has one when he comes, or if he's blessed with one before he leaves. 

     
     Keep an eye out for the strangers God is sending your way. They’re everywhere. How will you show them hospitality?
       

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing! Your comment will appear after the moderator's review.