4 Biblical Reasons Christians Should Be Hospitable

Thabiti Anyabwile
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The following is from Thabiti Anyabwile’s book The Gospel for Muslims.

Even more important than showing hospitality to win friends and provide a platform for sharing our values and faith, we should practice hospitality for a number of biblical and practical reasons. Let me list four major reasons for overcoming our weaknesses and fears to practice hospitality toward others.

First, the Bible commands Christians to be hospitable. “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Rom. 12:13). We practice hospitality because our sovereign God requires it of us. Our obedience to His command shows He is Lord of our lives (Luke 6:46) and that we love Him (John 14:15, 21). Because the practice of hospitality is an act of joyful and loving obedience, we “offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9).

Second, hospitality allows us to care for the strangers among us, treating them fairly and kindly. God’s Word shows special concern for strangers. Because the Lord’s people have at times been strangers in foreign lands, they are to show compassion to the aliens within their gates (Exod. 22:21; 23:9). For many first-generation Muslims in the United States, there is a sense of alienation and uncertainty that American Christians can lighten by inviting them into homes for meals and fun activities.

We practice hospitality because our sovereign God requires it of us.

Third, the Bible teaches that our caring for strangers in a certain sense renders service to Jesus Himself (Matt. 25:34–40). Acts of mercy performed for the “least” of people among us are acts rendered ultimately to God Himself, who cares for the widow, the orphan, and the stranger. What more practical way to make tangible our love for the lost than to open our homes and our calendars in a way that invites intimacy and friendship? 

Fourth, hospitality is one mark of Christian maturity and godliness. That is why the Lord requires church leaders (1 Tim. 3:2) and widows receiving church assistance (1 Tim. 5:10) to be hospitable. Every Christian should aspire to serve in this way, just as our Lord came not to be served but to serve.

For Further Reading:

The Gospel for Muslims

by Thabiti Anyabwile

There are over three million Muslims living in the United States today. Soon, if not already, you will have Muslim neighbors and coworkers....

book cover for The Gospel for Muslims