There is an interesting little phrase tacked on to the command to show hospitality in 1 Peter 4:9. We’re to do it “without grumbling.”
I find this rather humorous. It’s as if Peter knew this was going to be a temptation for us and so he put that little modifier in there. He ups the ante on us. It’s not enough to do hospitality—we must do it without grumbling. We must do it cheerfully.
This hits close to home for me. Especially during the exhausting “Three Hours Before Small Group Meeting” choreography: Dinner has to be made and served, dishes cleared and washed, kids fed, read to and in bed, foundation applied to the dark circles under my eyes and perfume sprayed to mask clingy household smells, coffee made, snacks laid out, bathroom wiped clean (almost forgot!), ice bucket filled and—whew!—smile ready when the first person walks through the door fifteen minutes early.
(All show times begin at 4:15—on good days. Tickets are free if you promise to help.)
The minute everything is ready and people walk through the door, they see my smiling face. What they don’t see is that I’ve spent the last three hours fretful, complaining, and anxious. But my family sees. And God sees.
News flash: Hospitality is work! It requires sacrifice of time, energy, and even finances. So how do we practice hospitality cheerfully instead of begrudgingly?
We remember the why.
More on this next week. In the meantime, keep the great recipes and ideas coming!