When we are servants, our hospitality takes on different dimensions. Our homes are used to build one another, to bind ourselves together—not to create barriers of needless competition or comparisons.
We can provide healing when we offer to one another small refuges from the battle. I can testify to being positively mellow for days after spending an evening in the home of those who extended their gift of hospitality. Walking away from some doors, I have carried with me a special feeling of being cherished, comforted.
Contrasted to this was the evening we spent in one home where all the details were correct, the rooms beautifully appointed, the table cleverly arranged—but where our hostess criticized the work we were doing for a major portion of the night. It took several days to recover from the emotional fatigue this encounter engendered. She was clearly not exercising a gift—not even one of exhortation!
A reluctance to leave, a feeling of warmth toward each other, the catharsis of laughter and sometimes singing or prayer—these are what we receive due to another’s service. And, if the food has been well prepared or creatively served, so much the better. But, it is the quality of our relationships that really counts.
We find we have given each other the Spirit of Christ, a taste of His love, a mirror of His care, a candle-flicker of His face. We have used our gifts as stewards. We have served and been served by one another.
May we now know His approval in our efforts. May we with eager anticipation, look to that time when we hear His voice, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over, much; enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23).
1. How would your Master rate your servanthood? If you were to meet with Him in a quiet evaluation session, what mark—Poor, Fair, Good, or Excellent—would He give you for your attitude of stewardship in the following four areas?
a. The use of your time.
b. The distribution of your money.
c. The use of your home.
d. The use of your possessions.
2. What kind of changes do you think He might require in the areas where He rated you poorly?
3. What kind of priorities will you have to set up in your low-rated areas in order to establish a Kingdom mindset?
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen Mains serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.