Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. (Romans 12:9-13 NLT)
God calls us to real and sincere love that goes far beyond pretense and politeness. Sincere love requires concentration and EFFORT. It means helping others become better people. It demands our time, money, and personal involvement.
We can honor others in one of two ways. One involves ulterior motives. We honor our bosses so they will reward us, our employees so they will work harder, the wealthy so they will contribute to our cause, the powerful so they will use their power for us, not against us. God’s other way involves love. As Christians we honor people because they are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and because each has a unique contribution to make to Christ’s church. Put others first.
Christian hospitality differs from social entertaining. Entertaining focuses on the host – the house must be spotless, food must be well prepared and abundant, the host must appear relaxed and good natured. Hospitality, by contrast, focuses on the guest. Their needs – whether a place to stay, nourishing food, a listening ear, or acceptance – are the primary concern. Hospitality can happen in a messy home. It can happen around a dinner table where the main dish is canned soup. Don’t hesitate to offer hospitality just because you are too tired, too busy, or not wealthy enough to entertain.