Tag: hospitality

Why it’s biblical to keep your shoes on during small group

I never wear my shoes in the house. Shoes bring in dirt.

On top of that, I’m more comfortable without them on. My at-home routine when I finish the day is to take my shoes off and put them in the basket beside the front door. After that, I feel like I can relax.

I don’t choose to take my shoes off because I feel like I have to. Or because my wife expects it. Or because it’s something I’ve done since I was a child. I do it simply so I can relax.

Small group time

Just a few weeks ago, we started a small group in our home. When I came in that Tuesday evening before people started arriving, I continued my normal routine. I took my shoes off, placed them in the basket, and started getting our house ready.

30 minutes before we started, I got my shoes back out of the basket. I put them back on my feet, tied them, and wore them until everyone in our small group had gone home for the night.

Then I went back through my routine. I took my shoes off, placed them in the basket, and sat down on the couch.

I didn’t accidentally wear my shoes during small group. I didn’t forget to take them off. And I’m not self-conscious about the smell of my feet. (though you may be conscious about the smell of my feet, I’m not. :-))

I wore my shoes to help people feel welcomed.

Many people don’t like to take off their shoes in others’ houses because

  • they’re self-conscious about the smell of their feet
  • they have dirty socks
  • they didn’t cut their toenails
  • they’re worried about the dirt in someone else’s house
  • they don’t take their shoes off in their own house
  • they feel more relaxed with their shoes on
  • their feet are cold

And if they feel like they have to take their shoes off, they’ll either:

a. Not. And feel guilty.

b. Take them off. And resent you for it.

So I chose to wear my shoes, and help people feel comfortable coming just as they are. Not having to bend to the rules of our family, or change their routine to fit our culture. I wanted them to feel like their wasn’t a hurdle they had to jump over, that they don’t have to at their own house, to engage in our group.

If keeping my shoes on helps someone feel more comfortable, welcomed, and loved, I’ll wear my shoes every week.(Tweet that) Small group is a blend of cultures, values, and traditions. Some people value keeping their shoes on.

If you want to love people well, go out of your way to serve them. (Tweet that) Surprise and delight. Make the best coffee in town. Let them sit on the couch nobody else gets to sit on. Let them eat off of the forks you reserve for special guests. Kindle the fire if it’s cold. Crank up the A/C if it’s hot. Open your home, open your life, and open your heart-shaping, will-bending, costly generosity (Re: Luke 14:12-14).

And if you want to create a culture that values people right where they are in life, let it start with your shoes. (Tweet that)

How do you creatively welcome people into your life?

The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold. – Acts 28:2

 

 

 

What is hospitality?

What is meant when Paul commands us to practice hospitality (Romans 12:13, 1 Peter 4:9)?

Is it merely serving those people who are in your circle of friends, who think and live and act like you do? Is Paul saying, “When you serve your friends, do it with a smile!”? Is it merely serving those who will “pay you back,” whether in terms of money, gifts, or returning the favor in like manner?

Or is it more along the lines of being hospitable to those who may or may not EVER love you back, showing love and grace to those people, giving of your time and resources when there’s more of a possibility that you’ll NEVER be repaid on this earth?

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” -Jesus (Luke 6:32-36)

Jesus’ words cut me to the core. I’m not quick to lend expecting nothing in return. I expect that I’ll get my book back from you if I let you read it! If I help you out of a jam, some day I expect you’ll do the same for me. I’m quicker to do good to someone after they’ve done good to me. And I’m happier if you thank me afterwards.

I’m sorry if you find that repulsive…I’m just being honest. I’m not proud of this. It’s something I’m working on. Please give me some grace.

How do you handle “difficult” people? How are you hospitable to them? What if they are “annoying,” they “talk too much,” or they’ve taken advantage of your kindness one too many times? What if you know they could never repay you? Maybe it’s at that moment that you have the opportunity to look most like Christ.

 

© 2021

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑