By J.A. Medders
If you’ve been around toddlers, you know one of the sentiments they repeat most often is, “Mine! That’s mine!” Toddlers think their siblings’ toys are theirs. They believe your spot on the couch is theirs. They’re convinced the satellite remote is theirs. Mine, mine, mine.
For many men, one of the common barriers to biblical hospitality is this false teaching of toddlers. God calls us to be in community with our brothers and sisters in Christ, to be hospitable to one another, and to welcome the outsider. But we look at our schedules and think, “Mine!” We struggle with making room for Christian fellowship because of busyness, hobbies, kids’ sports, and plain ol’ selfishness. Too much mineness. God has called us to more. God has empowered us for more.
Making room for others in our lives—mutually ministering to and benefitting from one another—is vital to our life in Christ. Paul tells us in Romans 12 how God has given spiritual gifts to other Christians for our benefit (vv.3–8). We benefit from the encouragement of a brother in Christ, and that brother benefits from our spiritual gifts. Growth is stifled when we stiff-arm people out of our lives. By making room for others, we welcome and cultivate shared and mutual growth.
Biblical hospitality is more than a dash of manners and politeness. That sort of folksy hospitality doesn’t make the Satanic powers whimper. God is calling us toward heavenly hospitality, informed and fueled by the gospel of grace. God didn’t keep to Himself. Jesus gave His life for ours. He came to us, inviting us into His joy. He welcomes us into His kingdom, into His space. Who could have expected this kind of hospitality from God?
The gospel teaches us to make room for the unexpected. In Acts, the Jewish Christians often found it difficult to accept that God would redeem Gentiles, but God changed their hearts and minds. God welcomes and saves the unexpected.
Biblical hospitality reaches beyond people who look just like you. It crosses race, income, neighborhood, politics, and preferences—just like the gospel. Where is God changing your heart and mind to make room for others? Who needs an invitation to God’s kingdom from you?
We can’t clutch our comfortable lives while following Jesus. He’s not walking toward comfort; He’s headed for the cross. Like our Shepherd, let’s make room for others in our schedules, our lives, and our hearts. We can no longer say, “Mine!” for we are His.
Written by J.A. Medders
Get truth delivered straight to your inbox.
Sign up to receive daily Bible readings every morning.
16 thoughts on "Making Room for Others"
Hospitality is something that I love but find so difficult. It causes me to go outside my comfort zone and it takes a lot of energy, but it’s worth it in the end. It builds relationships, it is living out the Gospel and it defeats the power of darkness.
I need to reach outside my comfort zone and build relationships and community with those around me, even if they’re different than me. This is truly being Jesus in the flesh.
Great reading plan. Jesus made room for me in his life by dying on the cross for me. I must do the same for others.
This is good stuff! The first story the pops in my head is the story of Mephibosheth. David gave him, a dead dog, and air of Saul who should’ve been slaughtered, a seat at his table, inheritance in his kingdom, and authority over the Land.
God does the same for me… which is the ultimate act of hospitality. I need to regularly find time in my life to show this type of radical hospitality to others. I need to be willing to offer up the time that I value and the resources that I value to show others that I love them like God loves us.
We are all here to seek after, worship and love God. The whole bible declares that He is the Lord God and there is none other. When we understand that God is the highest authority and that He is the Lord, we can be hospitable among many other things.
Stay humble, keep in mind that you were saved by grace, understand that everyone including yourself is just a part of the body and not the whole package, and that we are all one in Christ.
He is Lord! He is our salvation and none other, especially yourself.
Make. Work. Create. Time to put my hands and my mind and my heart to work. “Room” isn’t just going to happen. I have to make it.
Room. Availability. Vulnerability. What is taking up room in my life? My time? My creativity? My love? How can I build the Kingdom of God when I’ve used all the land for my sand castles?
Amen, may God change all our hearts to welcome and embrace those around us with love, empowered by His truth and Spirit.
This is an extremely encouraging piece of scripture. And a great reminder to us as followers of Christ. Lately, I’ve been so caught up in my own stuff that I haven’t even thought about how I am helping to contribute to the Body of Christ. We are all one in God. So many times without even thinking about it. We just get selfish and just live our life and let God fix our problems but never give Him anything in return. I think that’s just unfair to God. We’re so entitled in today’s society that we just expect to do what we want, sin, repent, and then get what we want and need without giving anything back. I think it’s time we start to contribute to the Body. And give back to God.
What Paul said in Acts about not putting and unfair yoke on others really hit me hard. I feel, especially with “outsiders,” we put our own personal values on other people. Try to force them to walk, talk, and act like us. In doing that we promote ourselves above Christ.
A much needed study in my life and the season in which I find myself. Giving praise to God for the inheritance I do not deserve and for the opportunity to share His love with others!
I pray that I search out other Christians who have different strengths than I. I pray that I learn from them and benefit from what God has given them. After experiencing worship in foreign countries, I have seen that the body of Christ is truly diverse and full of love. That’s always the common denominator amongst all people. Love. If Jesus loved them, I can love them too.
1st day of this devotional and already it hits home. 3 great verses to open my mind and cause me to realize how generous and awesome our God is that he has saved ALL of us and gives this gift freely to those who have faith in Him. His mercy extends to everyone.
I’m convicted as I find myself most of the time staying in my comfort zone and not extending myself to others, being selfish with “my” time, and not sharing my faith. Definitely the toddler syndrome….MINE!
I struggle with allocating time to my family at times, much less allocating time to others. For this reason, relationships with a level of depth are few and far between.
It’s easy to blame this on busy-ness. But it’s probably more about my insecurities and fears.
God, through your word, teach me that getting hung up on insecurity and fear of my shortcomings is really just pride (putting my own abilities above yours) and unbelief (in your Spirit working in me).
Far to often I look at how good I am at hospitality, but I also look at it from the perspective of how good I am with those who are like me and think like me. I don’t invite those “outsiders” in to my home. God give me the love that you have for those people that I would reach out to them.
Day 1: I love how in Romans 12:3 it says to think of yourself with sober judgement. When we start thinking too highly of ourselves, it’s almost as if we are drunk and want to put ourselves on a pedestal. The devil wants to draw our eyes to our humbleness and good qualities we have to make us boast in them or say “look at me in so humble” or whatever it is. Our eyes need to focus on God. Making room for others in our lives that build who we are as men of God is truly important.
The truth is so real that when it hits you. It comes in different shapes. But this is a great opportunity to say that we are all Gods children. From the hurting to the ones that have found peace in God. We aren’t alone and we must stand for him together share the best things he gives us because he loves us. Effortlessly we can do the same for him and our brothers and sisters.
The biggest thing I struggle with so much is the concept of hospitality. In truth, I lack in that department at severe levels. Whether it’s by circumstance or what, I’ve adopted that very same “mine!” mentality talked about.
I know that God has it in store for me to be a hospitable individual to everyone, and my closed-mindedness negates that plan. At the same time, I know that what God wants to happen, will.
I will be more open and receptive to those in need. Nothing is going to stop me from opening up and accepting others, showing the same love God shows me everyday, that Christ showed me on the cross.
I will be hospitable.
Post Comments (16)