I remember visiting with a leader in a church who explained that they recently had some friends over from Egypt who disputed their faith. They used a different name to pray and this was a point of contention to the couples. They went on to explain that in order to keep the piece and remain "hospitable" they decided to pray in both names and that way they didn't offend their guests. I look at this example and see a gross misunderstanding of what it means to be hospitable. This exact word found here in 1st Timothy is only used 3 times and two of the times are used to describe elders, the third time found in 1st Peter is to all of us. It is important to note that the element of hospitality isn't just opening your home or providing a meal, although these certainly can be, but it is also a heart posture of truly caring for guests. It takes cordial to a new level and brings a warmth and genuine concern for others. It seems that many times Gods blessings that He has bestowed on us are what we use to be hospitable. All that being said let me go back to our opening illustration of the leader praying in a different name. Hospitality has no connection to putting aside our faith to not be offensive. In other words as 2nd Cor. 11:4 warns to be on guard against those preaching another Jesus other than what the Word of God teaches. We can still be hospitable and stand firm in our faith. Hospitality should never be viewed as conflicting with our faith. In deed it is many times an avenue to introduce your guests to Jesus Christ. They may just leave the dinner party with a different Spirit than which they came in.
As a side note, this weeks challenge for the 42 day commitment challenge is focused on celebration. How you doing this week with your celebration in Christ? If you need a daily devo booklet or clarification let me know.
In it with you