Tuesday 23 June 2015

Have we replaced Hospitality with Hostility?

This post is part of the June synchroblog “Hospitality”.

Thinking about the importance of showing #hospitality to others, I wonder if this concept is still recognized and valued in our modern day society. How often do people readily accept and help others / strangers these days? Have we substituted hospitality with hostility?

Observing what is going on around the world, it is obvious that things are no longer as they used to be in terms of human relationship. These days, people hardly pick phone calls, chat, pay attention or show compassion to others. I do not really blame them because the heart of man has gradually become evil and people are careful when dealing with others, especially strangers.

Drastic changes like increase in armed robbery, hatred, cheating, stealing and wickedness among all other evil acts in our society today makes it difficult for people to trust and help each other. This indicates that hospitality has gradually lost its values. Because of these negative changes, people are very reluctant to show hospitality to others for fear of being harmed or even killed. Another reason why some people hesitate to show hospitality to others is because some people no longer appreciate it when others show them kindness. Instead of being grateful, they rather insult, attack and abuse those who want to help them. For example, strangers these days could be enemies in disguise. They might pretend that they need help but their main intentions could be to cheat and harm others. Looking innocent does not make someone an angel; that innocent-looking person might be the most dangerous person on earth. Nevertheless, there are few innocent people who genuinely appreciate it when others show them kindness. And there are real strangers who might be stranded and genuinely looking for help.

How do Christians show hospitality in a world where evil has overtaken goodness? A world where wicked people cheat others and snatch away what they laboured for, harming or killing them?

It is no wonder that many people are paranoid when it comes to helping others. Do you know that many people pretend to be friends and visit others with evil intentions of hurting them? They pretend to be friendly whereas they have evil plans to execute? It is very difficult to single out the good from the bad ones. That notwithstanding, some Christians still love and accept each other and strangers alike according to the teaching of the scriptures. We are encouraged to show hospitality as it is written in Hebrews 13:2 "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." – NIV. In 1 Peter 4:9 the scripture says "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling." - NIV

In a Christian community, the act of sharing and helping each other still exists, not without limitations though. There are still some good people who help others without looking for anything in return or thinking of any negative consequences. They still try to live according to the teaching in 3 John 1:8 where the apostle John encouraged the church to show hospitality "We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth." - NIV

Due to the wickedness in this world, some people are reluctant to receive gifts/presents from others because it is very difficult to predict the intentions (good or bad) of the giver. Even though some people hesitate to rely completely on others for help these days, there are still some who do appreciate any form of support. Accepting hospitality is okay because in Matthew 10 9-10 for example, Jesus told the apostles to always do so. "Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts--no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep." - NIV

The world has changed drastically. In fairness, it has become very difficult to distinguish between the good and bad people; people are afraid of each other because the evil ones are everywhere. It takes the grace and direction of God to discern when to render help to others. It is also by faith and following the teaching of Christ that people can accept things from others in good faith.

As Christians, our prayer is that God should help us to read and understand His words. He should help us to follow his examples and be doers and not hearers of His Word!

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