The truth is that the call to welcome others requires more than finances. It requires a willingness to be open, genuine, vulnerable, and humble. Those are things that are much harder to give than money but which make a much greater impact.
What You Can Do When Finances Hinder Your Hospitality
Today we are continuing our look at the Hindrances to Hospitality with a discussion of the hurdles in finances that sometimes stand in the way of our best hospitality intentions. Anytime we choose to welcome it will cost us something. It will cost us time at the very least but often it also includes a financial cost. This is reality.
Now there is always the potential that you will receive unexpected blessings (believe me it happens often) when you choose to open your home and/or your heart. Sometimes these blessings come when you try to encourage someone and end up with deep spiritual encouragement. Sometimes they come because you are genuinely able to be a blessing to someone else and ministering to their need ends up an encouragement to your soul because you know you are being used by the Lord. And sometimes when you have a financial need it will be met by someone you blessed.
However, sometimes that won’t be the case. There will be times when you feel like what you are doing is pointless and expensive. During this time you need to be reminded of why hospitality is important (check out this post to encourage your weary heart).
The reality is that anytime you do something for someone else it will cost you something and often that includes money. But before you get nervous and assume there is no way you can do this hospitality bit, remember that hospitality is commanded of believers and God supplies our needs so that we are able to fulfill His commands.
So when financial stressors threaten to scare you out of welcoming others, remember these 3 things.
Your resources are not your own
Everything you have is a gift from God. He has given you specific resources (regardless of how big or small they may be) for you to steward well. The same God who commands hospitality of all believers (read this post for more about the hospitality commands!) also supplied your resources. He has given you what you need to be able to welcome. Remember ultimately that you do not own anything. You are managing God’s resources. He has given you a certain allotment of time, talent, and finances but they are His and you are supposed to do with them what most honors Him.
Hold your resources with an open hand because then you can be amazed time and time again when God chooses to meet or exceed your need.
Hospitality can be done on a budget
Too often we fall prey to the thought that hospitality has to be elaborate and expensive. We have to serve expensive food in perfectly groomed homes or it isn’t hospitality. But we learn from Christ, the ultimate example of every admirable quality, that hospitality isn’t about any of that (for a look at the hospitality of Jesus click here). Hospitality is about welcoming others for the glory of God (Romans 15:7). As such, hospitality does not need to be expensive.
We ought to be generous with our resources, that is true. But what generosity looks like is different in every person’s life and even different in every season of life. For a look at some inexpensive hospitality ideas that might get you started, click here.
Hospitality is for your whole life
As we have already said, hospitality isn’t only relegated to expensive dinner parties (although there is nothing wrong if your hospitality includes that). Hospitality is about living a life of welcome. Romans 15:7 says that we are to welcome others the way Christ welcomes us. Christ didn’t throw elaborate parties (although He did help save the day at some, see John 2).
Christ lived a life of welcome. He even invited Himself over to someone else’s house when the situation called for it (Luke 19). Christ welcomes us by oh so generously sacrificing Himself for our good. He welcomes us by calling strangers in and making us family. He welcomes us by opening more than just a home to us, He welcomed by opening His heart and life to us and it cost Him everything.
You Have More to Give than Finances
Honestly, I have been known to be intimidated by those who are able to host expensive or elaborate celebrations because I have been tempted to believe my hospitality efforts don’t measure up. The truth is that the call to welcome others requires more than finances. It requires a willingness to be open, genuine, vulnerable, and humble. Those are things that are much harder to give than money but which make a much greater impact.
Your hospitality may indeed include expensive things because you want to lavish your guests the best you know how and those resources are available to you. That can be beautiful and good. Your hospitality can also be simple and quiet and free of financial expense. That can also be beautiful and good. Hospitality and our call to welcome don’t center on how much is available in our finances. Praise God for that!
Hospitality will indeed cost you something. Probably the least of all is finances.
For a beautifully poetic look at this subject, check out what Jen Wilkin has to say in this article.
If you would like to start this series from the beginning, click here!