Hospitality is a spiritual discipline exemplified by Jesus in the New Testament. It teaches us to welcome and love others throughout our daily life, even when we are stressed. Yet, finding a balance between warm hospitality and safeguarding our well-being is crucial. By drawing inspiration from scripture, we can practice self-care through the stress of life and set healthy boundaries while still extending the same hospitality Jesus did.
But what happens when you are too stressed to show hospitality?
If you are anything like me there have been more than enough moments to count where community is not important. Serving others needs to take a back seat. And, in the midst of chaos and a day planner that is crammed full of events and activities, it just doesn’t seem feasible to add one more thing or serve one more person.
God wants both the solitude and the service. He wants us to be still and know that He is God. And He also wants us to rest in His promise that healthy community gives life to our souls and edifies us in ways being alone can’t.
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus invites his followers to find rest in Him. This highlights the importance of de-stressing our lives and seeking solace in Christ to rejuvenate our spirit. This is especially important when the chaos of life comes crashing around us. Prioritizing our well-being allows us to extend hospitality without feeling overwhelmed. It’s super important to remember that even though life can be crazy, we need to have solitude for our souls and community to edify us.
Paul’s letter to the Galatians (6:2) emphasizes bearing one another’s burdens. Still, he also advises each individual to carry their load (6:5). This reminds us to be hospitable while respecting our limits and allowing others to take responsibility for their actions.
Luke quotes Jesus in Acts, saying, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Sometimes it can feel like we need people to invite us, give to us, and share their time with us. But Luke reminds us that when you extend yourself and ask others, even in times of chaos and stress, you will be more blessed than receiving the invite.
How does that thought rest in your soul? Can you trust that you will find rest in Him, that He will take the stress away if we continue showing up and loving on others? I know for me… it’s hard.
In Mark 6:31, Jesus advises his disciples to rest and care for themselves amidst their ministry and work. Emulating this practice allows us to nurture our hospitality towards others.
Peter encourages genuine and cheerful hospitality in his first letter (4:9). Approaching hospitality with a positive attitude helps us care for others without emotional exhaustion.
Balancing hospitality and self-care requires blending these principles from the New Testament. Seeking rest in Christ, bearing one another’s burdens while respecting our limits, finding solitude and approaching hospitality with joy all contribute to a sustainable hospitable lifestyle that enriches our souls while bringing comfort and love to others.