Right Motive

Have you ever asked yourself: Why should I be hosting guests? For what reason? For whom am I doing this?

In my last post I wrote about hospitality. Today I would like to talk a little bit more about the motive of inviting people to our homes.

I’ve told you that I grew up in a home where entertaining guests had been very important. My parents always had masses of food for their guests: meat and sausages to BBQ, along with salads and other side dishes and all kinds of desserts. There was also an abundance of drinks available to choose from, including a variety of beers, sodas, juices and more. The people that came to our house did not need to lift a finger — just sit at the table and wait to be served.

You see, my parents loved to spoil their guests. Their motive? I’m not sure. But I do know that I haven’t been on the right track of hospitality for a long time…

Yes, I’ve always loved it when people were coming over either to my parents’ house when I was younger or later on to my own home. From early on I’ve learned that the house needs to be prepared for guests to arrive, so I’ve kept that up: making sure all the windows are cleaned, all countertops and basins are wiped thoroughly and shiny, all floors are spotless and all the food is planned and prepared to be cooked and served. And that kind of perfectionism was in my system for a long, long time. I was able to relate to my parents’ stress of hosting guests. I began to feel the same way: wanting to have everything perfectly clean and set up before their arrival, worrying of doing a great job while entertaining them, and then longing to have everything clean up and in order again after the guests left.

And, you know what? Eventually it wore me out. I started asking myself: Why am I doing this? For what? For whom? Am I still a good host?

In this world we are so driven by what other people think about us, aren’t we? We want to please them: our parents, our mate, our children, other family members and friends.

Then, we can be driven by wanting to please ourselves: we want to feel good over what we have given — our time, our money and the things we’ve bought for others.

What a different hosting of guests this would be if it were driven by doing (all) things as to the LORD and not as to men (Colossians 3:23)?