9. Hospitable

  1. Being a Christian in work is being hospitable. Following Jesus Christ in our work means being hospitable because Jesus preaches hospitality275 and God desires it of us.276 We must be hospitable toward each other.277 From the Holy Spirit we the heart, wisdom, and strength to work hospitably.
  2. Working hospitably means being friendly in our work. Doing so, we are pointing to God’s friendly face and follow Jesus as the Friend.278 Friendliness in our work is more than being polite to one another. We are friendly when we are not unapproachable but kind, not distant but engaging, not cold but warmhearted, not harsh but gentle.279
  3. Working hospitably means addressing people by their names. Just like Jesus who as the Good Shepherd calls His sheep by name,280 so we call those with whom and for whom we work by their names. The other individual is not just a number but a person, a human being. Addressing people using their names recognizes the other as a person and makes the contact personal. We abuse someone’s name when we insult, besmirch, or ridicule it,281 or when we flaunt it, steal it, or run away with it.282
  4. Working hospitably means showing interest in each other. Showing interest in one another means empathizing and sympathizing, without it turning into a cross-examination. After all, God is eminently interested in us. We cannot be hospitable if we do not know our guests, the people in our work.
  5. Working hospitably means being relationship oriented. God wants us to have a relationship not only with Him283 but also with the people around us, including those in our work. Our work is about building and maintaining relationships with people. These relationships are not practical, instrumental relationships but personal, collegial ones between persons. God is a personal God.
  6. Working hospitably means interacting with each other when we meet. A work-related meeting is not only about arranging and delivering things; it is also about coming together and being together, where we are connected with each other and we relate to each other. A work meeting is not just working through agenda items but also investing in each other.
  7. Working hospitably means collaborating with each other. To work is to collaborate and co-exist. Isolating ourselves or others is not how God envisions life.284 Besides, there are no isolation cells and bubbles in heaven. To work together is to invite the other to participate and to make sure that the other truly participates and continues to do so.
  8. Working hospitably means building and maintaining communities. In a community, just like in a hospital, people feel safe, at home. In a community, people work on common goals that are based on common beliefs. Through the community spirit, we build communities in which we can live and work. A family that is not a community is unfamiliar; a work unit that is not a community is disunited; an organization that is not a community is disorganized; a society that is not a community is unsocial.
  9. Working hospitably means seeking out other Christians in our work. Because we understand each other as equals in the same work environment, we can encourage and discuss problems with each other. Meeting regularly to pray and meditate about our work gives extra strength. Especially when there are only a few Christians in our workplace then it is even more important to know each other and to strengthen each other into being Christian workers. Every meeting with a Christian is an opportunity to discuss what it is to be a Christian in practice.
  10. Working hospitably means encouraging diversity of identities. We not only must respect but also stimulate the identity of others. If God had not wanted diversity in identity, He would have created us all identically. Stimulating identity means giving the other the space to be themself, to express themself, and to develop and expand themselves. Stimulating identity is good only if we do not deny God’s identity.
  11. Working hospitably means supporting inclusiveness and inclusion in our work. Jesus did not write off or exclude anyone. He was open to everyone, welcomed everyone, and sought out those who were marginalized.285 We are hospitable in our work if we integrate rather than segregate minorities, if we include rather than exclude marginal groups, if we welcome rather than despise dissenters. We can be hospitable because we know what it is to be invited and welcomed, to be outside and then be let in, to be included and be safe.

  1. Matthew 22:1-4, Luke 14:12–14
  2. Leviticus 19:33-34, Hebrews 13:1-2
  3. Romans 12:13, 1 Peter 4:9
  4. 2 Corinthians 6:4-6, Philippians 4:5
  1. Proverbs 15:1
  2. John 10:3
  3. 1 Corinthians 13:5
  4. Proverbs 17:5
  1. Matthew 1:23
  2. Genesis 2:18
  3. Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; Luke 14:15-24, John 2:1-11; John 6:1-14, John 21:12-13


  1. Which Bible verse about hospitality do I find particularly appealing and provides guidance for what working hospitably means (to me)?
  2. To what extent do I agree with the above summary of what working hospitably means?
  3. Are there any missing elements in the above list of what working hospitably means? If so, which ones?
  4. How would I personally describe what working hospitably means for Christians?
  5. How would I describe concretely what working hospitably means for me?
  6. To what extent do I subscribe to the idea that hospitality is an important characteristic/virtue for Christians in their work?
  7. To what extent do I subscribe to the idea that hospitality is an important guideline/principle for the behavior of Christians in their work?
  8. To what extent is hospitality an important virtue and principle for me in my work?
  9. How do I experience the importance of hospitality in my work?
  10. Do I work to bring about hospitality? Do I do so wholeheartedly?
  11. To what extent can I work hospitably in my work?
  12. How often have I recently brought hospitality to my work?
  13. How hospitably do I do my work? How does it show?
  14. To what extent do I use hospitality as a principle for my behavior in my work? Could I illustrate this using the decisions I have recently made in my work?
  15. When I look back at my working life, could I say that I have increasingly become more hospitable in my behavior?
  16. To what extent do people I work with think I act hospitably in my work? What have they said to me about this?
  17. To what extent do I think God thinks I act hospitably in my work?
  18. How can I become and act more hospitably in my work? How would I do this concretely?
  19. Which elements of working hospitably am I going to bring more of in my next working day?
  20. What am I going to say in a prayer to God about working hospitably?
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