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Practicing Hospitality

Often, when I see the word “practice”, it reminds me of my high school days when I played football. Practices were held every day after school and they were brutal. They would often test the limits of our physical and mental strength. Three hours of drilling, hitting dummies, running plays, and exercises. At the end of the practice, they would line us up on the sidelines of the football field and have us do 50 yard sprints until we could hardly stand from exhaustion.

Why did we do this? To improve our game, to get in top physical shape, and to get to the point where we didn’t have to think about the “fundamentals” anymore so that they would just come naturally. In other words, playing football was not a natural thing; it had to be learned. Of course, unlike me, we had some natural athletes on the team. But even those guys needed to practice to hone their skills, get in top physical shape, and make sure that they ran the plays flawlessly.

Romans 12:13 tells us to “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” That struck me when I read that today: we need to practice hospitality. I guess because it just doesn’t come naturally. Paul is teaching us in Romans to exercise our “giving” muscles so that they will be in top shape and giving will become natural for us. I had never thought of giving in that way before.

Certainly, there are people and ministries around you that are in need of your hospitality. If you are not already doing so, why not try exercising your “giving” muscles? Especially this time of year, when – to quote Charles Dickens – “the want is most keenly felt”.

But, most importantly, be generous to the Lord. He has given us all so much and we could never repay Him for the blessings He has bestowed on us. But we can certainly try to! There’s an old expression that says “you cannot out-give God” and, from my experience, it is true. Give it a try - you won't be disappointed!

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