Hospitality is a commandment from God that makes our theology practical, but it has other residual benefits that are not always quantifiable.
God often works like that, attaching blessings to obedience in ways we couldn’t possibly have predicted.
It’s easy to have people over who are exactly like me. If you’re a Mom who loves kids, books, food, gardening, and generally appreciates different aspects of homemaking, we have oodles in common to talk about and could share tips, tricks, and experiences that make our time together mutually beneficial and enjoyable.
God does call us to show hospitality to fellow saints (Romans 12: 13), but most of His instruction about hospitality has to do with how we relate to unbelievers and those who are hurting.
I have failed miserably at this. I am very comfortable in my own circle of friends and family. It’s a wonderful blessing to be surrounded by like-minded people and enjoy deep friendships that will extend throughout eternity because of our Common Bond.
But there is also a danger with limiting who we associate with to those who think and act exactly like we do. It’s easy to believe you have all the answers when your ideas are never challenged.
Building relationships with people of different cultures and ethnicities, political and religious beliefs, upbringings and experiences expands our world. It opens our eyes to situations that we don’t have a clue about.
This is humbling and good. It keeps us from trusting in our own wisdom and reasoning (and from expecting other people to trust in it), so that all we can say is, “I don’t know how to help, but I know Someone who can. This is Jesus, wonderful, merciful Savior, precious Redeemer and Friend.“
And that’s the whole point of hospitality.