About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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Are We Hospitable?

Paul, in Romans 12:13 tells us to be hospitable.  We often think, as we should, that hospitality is inviting people into your home.  There is nothing wrong with this definition, yet let me suggest an expanded form of this definition being hospitable.

Letting anyone into your "personal space" could be a form of hospitality.  What is someone's "personal space"?  If you are standing and talking with a person, you normally only get so close to that person, because you don't want to stand in his or her's "personal space".  Some people's personal space is bigger than others, but each of us has a comfort zone.

Some people don't let you get anywhere close to their personal space.  To put it plainly, this is not being friendly. For the most part, I think, people need to learn to be friendly.  For most of us, friendliness does not come natural.  We find ourselves reserved when it comes to going up to someone we don't know and talking with them.

I especially see this in church settings, a place where you should never see it.  Try this.  Go and visit a church you have never been to before and see how many people come up to you and talk with you.  Its a rare occasion that this will happen.  This should not be the case.  Church should be the friendliest place in the world. 

We need to do much better in being friendly, or hospitable to those who enter our church buildings.  I know that this does not come natural, therefore it is something we need to learn how to do.  We need to step out and let visitors enter our personal space  and be hospitable and friendly.     

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