Love in Action
9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20On the contrary:“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Christian Hospitality differs from social entertaining. Entertaining focuses on the host – the home must be spotless, the food must be well prepared and abundant, the host must appear relaxed and good-natured. Hospitality, by contrast focuses on the guests. Their needs – whether for 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. It can even happen while the host and the guest are doing chores together. Don’t hesitate to offer hospitality just because you are too tired, too busy, or not wealthy enough to entertain.
These versus summarize the core of Christian living Of we love someone the way Christ loves us, we will be willing to forgive. If we have experienced God’s Grace, we will want to pass it on to others. And, remember, grace is undeserved favor. By giving an enemy a drink, we’re not excusing his misdeeds. We’re recognizing him, forgiving him, and loving him in spite of his sins – just as Christ did for us.