ODJ: Kindness and Hospitality

August 27, 2016 

READ: Romans 12:7-9  

If you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly (v.8).

Recently three of my son’s football teammates spent the weekend with us. On Saturday the boys decided to paddle their canoes to the home of some friends of mine. Though they weren’t expecting guests, the Andersons showered the boys with hospitality when they arrived at their dock.

Their kindness truly left a mark, so when I asked the boys the next morning if they would like to visit the Andersons’ church or go to another, I had a good idea what their answer would be. “The Andersons’ church!” they shouted in unison.

Having not known my son’s teammates, the Andersons truly showed kindness to strangers (Hebrews 13:2). This left an indelible impression on the boys who—prior to that weekend—had never attended a church service before.

By letting hospitality and kindness be trademarks of their lives, my friends live out the essence of Romans 12:8, which calls believers in Jesus to use their God-given gifts. For each gift, an action is required: “If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”

In response to kindness, three unchurched boys were eager to enter a sanctuary where they were greeted warmly. And in that welcoming environment they heard the good news of Jesus for the first time in their lives.

As we extend kindness and hospitality, doors open for us to introduce friends and strangers to God, who “is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins” (Ephesians 1:7). Kindness and hospitality flow from Him!

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day plan: Luke 19:1-27

Read Colossians 3:12 and consider what it means to be “clothed” with kindness. 
How are you using your God-given gifts to love and serve others? Who can you show kindness and hospitality to today?