Embracing Vulnerability in Hospitality
As modern women in an age of Pinterest-perfect social media feeds, it can be incredibly easy to let comparison and perfectionism rob us of our joy and of opportunities to bless others with what we’ve been given. There is no more beautiful thing than to connect with others and share in the glory of God’s abundant blessings. But if we aren’t careful to guard our hearts and cultivate a heavenly perspective, we’ll miss out on chances to bless and be blessed by getting vulnerable with others.
Hospitality is one such way that we can both be a blessing to others and be blessed by others. Sometimes, though, it can seem like certain people were born with the gift of hospitality, while others got passed over. I’m sure you’ve probably met a few Martha Stewart-types in your life who just totally have the homemaking and hospitality thing on lock. Their meals and homes and parties are always perfect, and everyone seems at ease in the warm, welcoming environment they’ve prepared. Then, there’s those of us that fall into the “other” category – the ones who struggle to put a menu together, decorate our homes nicely or organize decent gatherings, and who are always left wondering why we just can’t seem to ever get it together.
At some point or another, we learned to associate hospitality with being good at entertaining….which can definitely be part of it, but it’s not the whole picture! True hospitality comes from being willing to get vulnerable and kindly, generously give of our time, gifts, space and story. Real hospitality is all about saying YES to the opportunities that God sends your way to step into blessing, whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of hospitality.
As followers of Christ, we have been called to give abundantly of everything we’ve been blessed with, and 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (New Living Translation) When we shift our thinking to recognize that everything we have has been given to us by the grace of God, and that it’s more than enough to accomplish his will, there’s no room to feel fear or inferiority!
Learning to joyfully welcome others into our hearts, lives and homes and focus on giving generously out of our abundance instead of on our skills or material possessions, requires both vulnerability and faith. Intimacy is scary, and there is a certain intimacy that is created when you’re willing to get vulnerable and allow people to really see you. But when we are honest about who we are and own the story we’ve been given, others will see that and feel at peace with sharing who they are and their stories too, which is beautifully refreshing to the body, mind and soul.
So you see, real hospitality isn’t about having a picture-perfect home, throwing spectacular parties and having an ebullient personality. You don’t need to change how God made you or change the things you have in order to be good at hospitality. All you have to do is be willing to say YES to vulnerability and sharing your life and blessings with others. And, you never know what God may be trying to accomplish within you or through you. “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2, New International Version)
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All Rights Reserved.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.