“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2).

The writer of the Hebrews understood the implications of treating everybody as if… To be entertained can mean to amuse or provide amusement, here however, the writer was cautioning us not to forget the importance of treating others hospitably, as some may be kind to angels and not even know it. All too often we go about our day doing what we usually do, the way we usually do it, not giving our actions a second thought. Perhaps even being on the receiving end of an thoughtless action or slight from another.

Our actions are often a spontaneous response to our inner self, also known as our character, in part governed by what psychologist call the id. The id is the pleasure driven part of our make up, governed by our needs. Out of these needs come our response to the needs of ourselves and others.

“The id is driven by the pleasure principle, which strives for immediate gratification of all desires, wants, and needs. If these needs are not satisfied immediately, the result is a state anxiety or tension. For example, an increase in hunger or thirst should produce an immediate attempt to eat or drink. The id is very important early in life, because it ensures that an infant’s needs are met. If the infant is hungry or uncomfortable, he or she will cry until the demands of the id are met.

However, immediately satisfying these needs is not always realistic or even possible. If we were ruled entirely by the pleasure principle, we might find ourselves grabbing things we want out of other people’s hands to satisfy our own cravings. This sort of behavior would be both disruptive and socially unacceptable.” (Kendra Cherry)

It is the knowledge of good and evil, right and wrong, kind or unkind that governs our response to the pleasure principle. Often we respond on what we derive from our action, giving little thought to the recipient of our action. Our character is what people respond to and will remember, not our deeds, our education, our many degrees or talents. What others will remember is our sincerity of heart. The way we “entertain others,” our attitude, our response and possibly our actions.
Charles H. Spurgeon said it well,
“A good character is the best tombstone.  Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered.  Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.”

In and of ourselves it is not possible to love and carve our names sufficiently on the heart of another. It is God Himself who writes the Word upon our hearts, that we would know Him and that He would know us.  God desires to write His Word, once written on tablets of stone, in our hearts and mind that we would love Him and show hospitality to strangers, sinners and saints alike.

Entertaining strangers is often the first encounter a stranger will have with God through the spoken Word from our mouth, produced out of the abundance of our heart.

“I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33).

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
“Not, I will give them a new law; for Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it; but the law shall be written in their hearts by the finger of the Spirit, as formerly written in the tables of stone.”

“Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are”.  ~Author Unknown

 

Adapted from the writing of Linda Brown originally published at Healing Words 247

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