I despise confrontation. Like stomach all twisted in knots, can’t sleep the night before, despise it. Scripture links hospitality with telling the whole truth. Somehow, offering hospitality in the wake of a difficult conversation opens the door to meaningful conversation.
Hospitality opens the door into your world.
When I confront someone, I am stepping into someone else’s world- maybe without an invitation. But when I welcome you into my home, I am first offering you the whole truth about myself- a glimpse into how I actually live on a day to day basis. I am offering you access into my safe place.
I love the story of Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos in Acts 18 in The Unexplainable Church: Reigniting the Mission of the Early Believers.. Apollos comes into town and speaks in the local synagogue. An incredible orator, Apollos delivers a compelling sermon regarding the arrival of the Messiah and the need for repentance. Priscilla and Aquila know the Messiah had already come, died on a cross and risen from the dead. Apollos missed the best part of the story!
Hospitality offers safety and authenticity.
So what do Priscilla and Aquila do? They invite him over. “Apollos, what a fantastic sermon you delivered today! Please, come and stay with us, we would love to share some exciting news with you!” Within the comfortable safety of Priscilla’s table, Aquila shares the whole truth of the gospel with Apollos. From this moment forward, Apollos emerges as a key figure in the early church. He travels to Corinth and begins teaching there.
We live in a culture where the whole truth is readily shared on the internet. Opinions electronically travel at warp speed and damage and destruction echo even faster. Hospitality and the whole truth demand time on the part of the host. They demonstrate the willingness to expend time, energy and authenticity to share their heart with you. The complete opposite of a momentary rant across airwaves.
Have a history of hospitality.
When you need to offer the whole truth, offer hospitality. In fact, offer hospitality regularly, then when the whole truth needs to be shared, you have a history. Jesus offered hospitality to His disciples when He shared the whole truth of His betrayal and death. Priscilla and Aquila could have approached Apollos in the middle of the synagogue and set the record straight with him then and there, but his reaction undoubtedly would have been different. Rather than the dynamic Corinthian pastor, he could have become the embittered opponent of Jesus followers. How and where we offer the whole truth is important.
Why do you think hospitality opens the door for meaningful conversations?
To whom do you offer hospitality and how has that strengthened your relationship?