by Sally Matheny
|Strangers in Our Homes|
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
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.
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
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.
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|
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?