1 Peter 4:9
Here’s a verse that you will not hear preached very often:
“Be hospitable to one another without complaining.” -1 Peter 4:9, NAB
Throughout 1 Peter, there have been a number of wonderful verses that serve to stretch our faith. They challenge us in similar ways to many of Paul’s writings. While many other verses in 1 Peter get attention, somehow, this one does not. Actually, until today, I had never paid much attention to it myself.
Many other verses from this book are long, well-worded moral teachings on life. With this verse, the message comes through in its simplicity. Peter did not have to explain why we should do this, and he made his appeal in a short, straight forward way. What’s the message? Be nice and stop complaining about it.
There are times when we are forced into a situation where we have to be nice to someone, even if we do not want to be. Have you ever been put in that situation? Maybe its the neighbor who stops by more often than you would like. Maybe its a family member that talks too much. Maybe you have unexpected house guests that you wish were not there. You are nice to them because you have to be for some reason, but then you complain about it later. Well, you are not really being nice.
On the surface, the people you are trying to be nice to feel that your are being hospitable to them, but behind closed doors, you are not. They may not know the truth, but God surely does. Even if no one else knows what you are truly feeling, the Lord knows your heart.
It’s easy to be nice to the people we like. It’s not hard to show them hospitality, but there are times when the Lord brings people in our life that will truly challenge us. Despite our ill feelings, we have to open ourselves to these people without hesitation and without complaining. Peter made it a point for a reason.
Christ did not simply come to save the people He liked; He came to save everyone. God opens the doors to heaven to everyone that chooses to enter by following the Son. Our faith must be a reflection of that. We must open our doors, and our hearts, to whoever comes across our paths. That is what sharing the love of Christ is all about.