In 1 Peter 4:9, all Christians are urged to Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. And when we offer hospitality we very often are offering a meal to our guests. It is a critical grace to be sharing with others in this way. Hospitality, at heart, is an act of love. And as love is about doing good to benefit others we want to provide them with good hospitality. That means we want them to have a good meal. To provide our guests with some scraps left over from earlier in the week shows disrespect.
There is an issue here, though, and that is the danger of providing meals which intimidate others. So there is someone in the church who is a fantastic cook. She / he produces superlative feasts whenever they have guests. Others see their outstanding culinary presentation and think “I can’t do that. However, I will do what I can because I want to provide hospitality for others.” Now that is fine.
The problem comes when it is concluded by the guest that “I can’t provide like this and therefore I am not fit to offer hospitality. If anyone comes to my house they will immediately think that my provisions are not very good and so I will not provide.” Through this means hospitality is stymied and the church loses out.
Now of course the latter person should never have thought the way they did, but there is this danger. Accordingly, the first person who has been blessed with great culinary skills needs to be careful not to be too elaborate. Such elaboration could cause problems for others.
Oh how subtle Satan is in getting in among God’s people. Let us then be diligent to seek to resist the devil.
So next time when you are offering hospitality stop and think about how many vegetables you provide and how many sweets. You are not in a competition to impress, but you are on a mission to show love through hospitality.