Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms (1 Peter 4:9-10 NIV).
Friend to Friend
More than two decades ago, my husband James and I lived with my parents for about a month while we were waiting to move into a new house. One of the perks of living with my mom was the magic laundry. She would take my laundry basket and not only do the laundry, she would fold every single piece of clothing meticulously. My t-shirts looked like the folded shirts you see at upscale boutiques. The items I usually toss into a drawer were tightly folded and neatly stacked. James and I called it magic laundry because we would open a drawer and our clothes would magically appear–clean, fresh, and folded.
The kicker was my mom never even complained or made it seem like a burden. She did it with joy. Her magic laundry was a guilt-free, grumbling-free service.
I have a lot to learn, not just about folding laundry, but about serving others without complaining. In today’s truth, Peter is reminding believers to “offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” It’s one thing to offer hospitality and then brag about it or expect something in return. It’s another thing to offer it with no strings attached and without griping.
What does this look like in everyday life? Pouring milk with a smile. Cooking dinner after a long day. Inviting a neighbor over for a cup of tea. Driving a friend to a doctor’s appointment. If you have children or aging parents to care for, don’t grumble as you serve or rack up points in your mind. Banish the martyr mentality and embrace the blessing of hospitality.
I must admit when I am writing these words on the computer, I’m all for hospitality. But when I clean the house because guests are coming over, I usually feel overwhelmed, not encouraged. 1 Peter 4:10 continues to say, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” There’s effort involved in being hospitable to others. It is work. But it’s good work. Hospitality is a reasonable service to God and your family and community.
Whether you’re creating magic laundry like my mom or entertaining your extended family for dinner, remember you are being a good steward of the gifts you’ve been given. Literally the definition of steward is “one employed in a large household or estate to manage domestic concerns, one appointed to supervise the provision and distribution of food and drink in an institution.” Doesn’t that sound familiar? I can’t help but wonder what would change in our hearts and lives if we saw our daily activities as a joy instead of a burden.
Imagine how cool it would be to have your name recorded in the Bible. That’s exactly what happened in Romans 16:23 to a man named Gaius, who hosted none other than the Apostle Paul. In the letter greeting the church in Rome, Paul includes greetings from Gaius “whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy.” No doubt Gaius served them with joy, not with grumbling.
So the next time you are doing laundry and you don’t feel magical at all, remember Gaius. Remember my mom. Do it with a smile and a tiny spring in your step. Remember the verses from 1 Peter. Let’s be grace receivers and grace givers, sharing hospitality to those around us without complaining about it. Whether you live alone and offer a cup of coffee to a visiting friend or you have a packed household with ten mouths to feed, you can serve without grumbling. The ultra neat folding of laundry however is totally optional.
Dear God, forgive me for complaining when I am serving others. Help me want to serve. Change my heart. Show me someone today who needs my hospitality. Thank You for the grace You give.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Who are people in your life that you regularly serve? What would help you show hospitality more cheerfully?
Who is the most hospitable person you know? What can you learn from her or him?
Leave a comment, share his/her name, and let’s celebrate that person.
More from the Girlfriends
Did you know Arlene has a weekly podcast to equip moms and wives? It’s called the Happy Home and is always packed with things to learn from guest experts, practical applications, and a few laughs. You can listen to the Happy Home podcast wherever you get your podcasts and always at AccessMore.
© 2022 by Arlene Pellicane. All rights reserved.
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My late Aunt Sandra had the gift of hospitality. She greeted you with a smile, seemed genuinely happy to see you, and made you a cup of French vanilla coffee. She settled her tiny self on the loveseat, tucked her feet up under her, and gave you her full attention.
Both my Mom and my sister are very hospitable people. I’d say the thing I can learn from them about hospitality would be attention to detail. They’re really good about having favorite foods, a nice smelling candle lit, toiletries if you’re spending the night etc.
Pat Holt, a sweet sister in Christ, is one of the most hospitable people I know! Always giving from the heart! I pray that I can be more like her.
Wonderful msg. this am!
My friend, Lynn! Outdoor “bring a dish to pass” buffets, may not be done in perfection (more fun and chaotic) but definitely hospitality on a mega scale!
I praise the Lord, for her friendship and stewardship to myself and my husband.
This devotional I feel also helps with depression because it gives purpose to all the mundane activities
Thank you for your message today. It is exactly the message I needed to hear and be reminded of.
Thank you for this reminder today. I think of my grandma who has passed away several years ago. She always set an extra plate. If someone didn’t stop by at dinner she would fill the plate and take it to someone who lived alone or a shut in. She several times had me take the food over to someone. I remember the joy it brought to the faces of those receiving. Which made me feel good too! I’ve tried to live up to my grandmas love for others.
My daughters are such giving people! One has 2 small children and works part time, yet always sees that friends and family are taken care of. She loves to cook and grow flowers and share with those who have just celebrated the birth of a child or are sick or just need a lift.
My other daughter works full time and is devoted to ministering to others who need a listening ear (or ❤️) or a visit. She is steadfast in her service to others.
Both of these ladies love the Lord. They are my inspiration!
My sister Debbie’s work ethic goes unmatched, even so, after working overtime, sometimes 6 days a week, she happily,serves all her family members, including extended family. She brings food to the member in a nursing home twice a week, helps her with routine hygiene and keeps her company . Cooks meals with and visits another member with mental health issues on a regular basis. Gives generously and celebrates birthdays to all especially her own children and all the nieces and nephews. Even those times when most people runaway.. she’s there to help you pack and move, clean your house, put your furniture together, or get you groceries. I appreciate and celebrate her. Thank you Lord for blessing us with Debbie and all her generousity and goodness!
Thank you thank you for this devotion! It was one I really needed to hear today. My friend and sister in the Lord Mabel is the one who comes to mind. Even though she recently lost her husband she stays busy working for the Church and her family. She is a true blessing and example.
One of the most hospitable people was my Nana/Nonna. She was immediate in welcoming anyone who stopped by. She never came off as if visitors were an interruption but instead as if she had been waiting all day long for them and it was the best part of her night. Cake and coffee were usually involved along with her sassy, unmatched wit and sense of humor that could make anyone having a bad day, laugh and lighten up.
My sister Norlene is the most hospitable person I know. I’ve always said I want to be like her when I grow up (I’m 72 years old!! Haha). She always shows the love of God to all.