"Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers over a multitude of sins."
-- 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
(nailed it. of course, it is kind of short!)
The next verse is:
"Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."
"Cheerfully share your home
with those who need a meal or a place to stay."
-- 1 Peter 4:9
Isn't that beautiful?
And this is one of those verses which the Amplified translation really, really amplifies! Check this out:
"Practice hospitality to one another
(those of the household of faith).
[Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers,
with brotherly affection for the unknown guests,
the foreigners, the poor, and all others
who come your way who are of Christ’s body.]
And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly
(cordially and graciously, without complaining
but as representing Him)."
Wow. Confession: I'm not the most naturally hospitable person. When we built our home 20 1/2 years ago, I had a four-year-old and a two-year-old and it felt for years like the house was always in a state of chaotic mess. For some reason, I thought it had to be "perfect" to invite people over and I think I let anxiety or pride or whatever keep me from being as hospitable as I should have been. Fast forward to today and my empty nest (while not immaculately clean always) is generally in a state of order because it's just the two of us.
So now what's my excuse?
I want to take the challenge of this verse and be more intentional in showing hospitality ("generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests; kindness in welcoming guests or strangers.") It will take intentionality (as in, actually inviting people over to eat) and maybe a smidge of preparation -- food, clean sheets! -- so I'm ready to be welcoming. I want to let go of any preconceived notions of perfection and focus on my guests, not my house or my cooking or myself. I have a little napkin framed in my kitchen that says this:
I love my home...it is a blessing far beyond anything I deserve...and I want to use it to bless others.
So, what are your hospitality tips? Or what verse are you learning this time? I'd love to know!