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Humble Hospitality

by KATY BRINK HOSPITALITY Being a woman in ministry Serving joyfully Reflecting God
Humble Hospitality
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”
Philippians 2:3-4

Your favorite dish gets broken.

Your plans for a peaceful afternoon are interrupted because your guests stayed a long time after lunch. 

Your hard work in the kitchen goes seemingly unnoticed as hungry children scarf down a meal and run off, leaving a huge mess.

You labor to prepare a meal for eight guests but at the last minute have only three. 

You offer your guest room to someone in need, forfeiting your anticipated weekend of being home alone.

You open your home for a church event, but no one stays to help with the dishes.  

Your child invites a friend home after school, and you dig through the cupboard, feeling a bit embarrassed, to throw together a decent snack or dinner on the day before your planned grocery trip. 

You invite your Bible study group for coffee but notice some of the women exchanging glances as they squeeze around your table in your small apartment.  

Hospitality takes many forms and can produce a variety of emotions in those who extend it. Sometimes it’s easy and natural; other times it’s discouragingly difficult. But Biblical hospitality always pushes us to live out these verses – to value others above ourselves, above our stuff, above our schedules, above our self-image. Above our idea of how someone should receive said hospitality.  

I often want to extend hospitality on my terms. I want to have plenty of time in my schedule, plenty of food in the pantry, plenty of energy in my tank, plenty of good ideas of what to cook, plenty of space in my house, plenty of peaceful, well-behaved children. But those desires, while understandable, are all focused on me; if they rule the way I practice hospitality, then I’ll end up practicing hospitality in a very self-serving way.  

These verses in Philippians come in the context of imitating the humility of Christ: He lived and died sacrificially, providing the model for us to do the same and providing the salvation for sinners like us who are desperately selfish. By His grace, He can transform our hospitality into something that points to Him instead of to ourselves. 

Closing Prayer
Dear Lord, I want to show your love to everyone who comes through the doors of my house. Help me to point others to you, no matter the size of my home, the quality of my cooking, or the amount of energy I have on any given day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Podcast: Let’s Talk: Hospitality in Different Contexts In this podcast, Melissa Kruger, Jasmine Holmes, and Jackie Hill Perry talk about the importance of hospitality and some of the struggles that come along with it.
Question for Reflection

When is hospitality particularly challenging for you? How are you tempted to make yourself the center?

Katy Brink
September 15, 2023

The issues of having enough time in my schedule and enough energy are hard ones for me. I’m not saying that we always need to say “yes” to every opportunity or that we should have someone different in our home every night of the week, but if I’m feeling particularly tired, I tend to shy away from engaging and practicing hospitality.