One day I was just scrolling through Facebook when I came across a quote by Jen Wilkin which said:
Entertaining seeks to impress. Hospitality seeks to bless.
That really struck a chord with me.
Maybe it resonated with me because it revealed the motives of my heart. While this may not be the case for everyone, I know it is for me.
In the first scenario – entertaining – the focus is on me. On impressing. It is how I can make myself look and feel good.
In the second scenario – hospitality – the focus is on others. On how I can be benevolent to my guests and add value by giving them a peaceful experience that is uplifting, encouraging, and makes them feel connected, important and appreciated .
When I place my focus on hospitality, I have to let go of perfection – and switch gears from that of being task oriented to that of being people oriented. And here’s the hard part – letting go of those things that aren’t perfect. Sure, I’ll do my best with having an environment of excellence, but I must know the limit where I’m overstepping the bounds.
How? By following peace. I have to be okay if the critics aren’t impressed and do what critics do – criticize. And the #1 Critic is the critic in my head – “Your woodwork is scuffed and needs painting. There were weeds in the flowerbed along the sidewalk.” In that case I have to exercise my executive decision to Let it Go.
One of the great examples in the Bible that contrasts the difference between entertaining and hospitality is found in Luke 10. Jesus was visiting Martha and Mary. Martha’s focus was on the task, Mary’s was on the relationship. Here’s what Jesus had to say in verses 41-42 (NIV):
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
“Lord, when people come into my home, help me choose the better, most important thing – being a blessing. Amen.”