Posted On December 16, 2019

Two Big Barriers to Christian Hospitality

by | Dec 16, 2019 | Neighboring: Loving Your Neighbor, Featured

2 Big Barriers to Christian Hospitality from Crossway on Vimeo.

Getting Real about Our Sin

The two big foundational barriers to practicing hospitality are secret sin patterns and selfishness. Too often, Christians are not honest with one another about where we hurt, how we struggle, and what we need. We too often share prayer requests well after the fact. We aren’t vulnerable, we aren’t transparent, we aren’t honest, and sometimes we just sell and buy a corrupt theology that says, “If you’re all cleaned up then you’re all cleaned up, and you shouldn’t be struggling with sin ever again.” This is a corrupt theology. We are new creatures in Christ. We have the power to obey and we have Satan on our heels, but we’re weak.

What we have is the gift of repentance. Repentance is the threshold to God. Sin has a way of entangling itself around people—especially those who are thrust to the frontline of ministry, whether its a parachurch, pastoral, or even a hospitality ministry. So being honest about sin and dealing with it forthrightly—being daily in the Word for a long period of time (not a verse a day like unbelievers read their horoscopes—I mean in the Word) and on your knees, applying the means of grace. Your growth and sanctification is the first and foremost thing that you can and must be doing to be of any earthly good to anybody.

If you’re hiding a sin, you won’t be able to practice hospitality. In fact, you won’t want to. You’re going to be afraid that somebody’s going to find you out because hospitality makes you transparent to a watching world. They see you, they know how you live, and there’s no place to hide.

Inviting Others In Requires Giving Up

The other thing that is a foundational barrier to hospitality is selfishness. Selfishness hides itself in habits of middle-class ease. Favorite TV shows—if they become more important than other things—are a form of selfishness.

A hospitality house must always think about the weaker brother. For example, if you just can’t imagine living without a liquor cabinet that’s open and available, that’s a problem (which is easy for me to say because we’re teetotalers). You must realize that you have the liberty to do things that maybe you ought not to be doing because it prevents you from doing these other things.

Selfishness hides itself in habits of middle-class ease.

You’ve got to think about what your selfish habits are and whether they are worth it. Time is short. There is so much to do in your neighborhood. There are so many hurting people who need you—who are waiting—but these habits can suck the life out of you. They are time-consuming. For example, social media is a ridiculous habit of selfishness and self-promotion. Yes, you could just call them sins, but they’re so universalized in our middle-class, evangelical world that they get a free pass.

The bottom line is this: if your white carpet is more valuable to you than the souls of your neighbors, that’s a problem.

This is a guest article by Rosaria Butterfield, author of The Gospel Comes With A House Key. This post originally appeared on crossway.org; used with permission.

Related Posts

Q&A on Your Theology Questions With Kristin Everett Part 2

Q&A on Your Theology Questions With Kristin Everett Part 2

On this new Tulips and Honey episode, Lauren and Kristin answer your questions on finding a biblical church, identifying a false church, election, salvation, and church history. What You’ll Hear on This Episode How to find a biblical church. The importance of church...

God’s Gift to Adam

God’s Gift to Adam

Genesis 2:18-25, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see...

9 Wrong Ways to Read the Bible (And One Better Way)

9 Wrong Ways to Read the Bible (And One Better Way)

A Book of Good News Many of us approach the Bible not as oxygenating, but as suffocating. We see the Bible lying there on the end table. We know we should open it. Sometimes we do. But it is usually with a sense of begrudged duty. Life is demanding enough, we think....

You Shall Not Eat

You Shall Not Eat

Genesis 2:15-17, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share73
Tweet17
Email
Reddit
Share