The true art of hospitality, to love other as ourselves, is so easy – said no one ever!
I have been around a lot of family for the past ten days. At first, it’s all hugs and kisses with excitement to see each other again. Then the excitement of arrival settles down.
The children begin to get a little board or cranky, the stress of travel and preparing can cause headaches, and the frayed edges of our personality peeks out and to love others well, is not always easy.
I messaged a friend about our family coming:
“They will all come at some point, staggering in throughout the week…some will stagger more than others, and some will swagger like it’s all about them…but we’ll try to love all of them well – even if, for some of them, we count the days, hours and minutes until they return home. #lovewell #secondgreatestcommandment #loveasSelf”
Love others as you love yourself.
Christ stood among those who swaggered well, trying to impress each other, in their macho robes of high position. Talking smack with their words, trying to trip up the one who is the Word.
Clearly, with all their accolades of education they still were not the brightest light on the street.
They had planned and practiced asking Christ questions in an attempt to catch him in an error. They ribbed and winked at one another each time another as the next Pharisees or Herodian step up to take a crack at him. Each one thinking they had the perfectly worded question.
The last one, a much older man who taught the law, had been listening and was impressed with Christ’s answers. He heart was strangely warmed, and asked one last question.
“What commandment is the most important?”
Christ looked into the teacher’s eyes, all the way into his soul.
“Shema! Hear! The Lord God is one Lord. Love Him with a pure heart, from the depths of the deepest part of your soul, with all of your intellect and with all of the strength of your will, understand and affections.”
“And I will add this”, he continued, “Love your neighbor as yourself. This covers it all! Love – completely, love.”
The old teacher nodded slowly and returned the deep soul-searching stare with a gently smile.
“Yes, this is the most important, even more important than burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
A gentle smile was returned, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” (based on Mark 12: 28-34)
Here is what you need to know.
Insecurity the the belief that you are not or cannot be loved and accepted. We cannot pour love into others and show hospitality when we are empty inside How can we love others when we don’t love ourself?
We must first love God in this way, with a pure heart. It is when we believe what God says about us, then we can look in the mirror, and see the beautiful woman looking back at us. The one who was perfectly made, loved and very capable with talents to share.
Accept His love, into the deepest part of our soul, practice repeating His Word over yourself until you can feel it deep inside. It may take time. Art always takes time. The Art of Hospitality, it is the Art of Loving ourselves, and it is the Art of Loving like Christ –because He loves you first. We simply copy what he does, beginning with ourselves.
With all of your imperfections, broken edges, and sharp shards, God finds you worthy of loving.
Even when you accidently fart, or burp in front of guests (admit it, most of us have all done it at least once!). Even when the food does not turn out well, or you put bleach spots on your husband’s Sunday shirt. God loves you when your mind races crazy and it is difficult to stay calm.
He loves you with your mental illness and emotional scars and quirks in your imperfect personality ( we all have them). He loves your physical appearance, all of the imperfections – flawed skin, the boobs that seem too small or the hips that seem too big, or the hair that goes rouge. He loves the limp in your stride or the prosthesis you wear, or the scar that no clothing could hide. He loves that you cannot do it all, and loves that you would like to do it all, but choose to sit down and rest (Mary and Martha life)
And this might seem like and unkind statement – but it’s true.
To open your doors to others, when you cannot love them, is sudo-hospitality.
Love your God. Love yourself as God loves you. Then love others, with the love of God, poured into your heart through his Holy Spirit. Open your home to all, and love them well. This is true, good and desired hospitality.
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Let your light be the Love of Christ in you.
How does it look to love yourself as Christ loves you? How can you show true hospitality?
And check out my friend Jennifer Lee’s Blog today too!
Latest posts by Diane W. Bailey (see all)
- What God Can Do with A Shattered Heart - September 5, 2022
- When It Is Time to Bring Your Ship Ashore - January 2, 2018
- Art Of Hospitality – How to Love Others As Ourselves - November 27, 2017
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