Owe nothing to anyone – except for your obligation to love one another…For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These – and other such commandments – are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfils the requirements of God’s law.
Romans 13:8-10 NLT
God sent his Son among his enemies with a message of divine hospitality. Enemies and strangers were invited to become friends; the very heart of hospitality.
We often look at the Ten Commandments as a moral code of behaviour. It reminds us of how to calibrate our moral compass. However, it is much deeper than that. It’s an expression of our hospitality. When I steal from another, be it their spouse, their reputation, their goods, I prove my protestations of respect for humanity to be no more than an empty lie. It reveals a disrespect for myself, my family, as well as complete strangers. Where I do wrong to one individual, I undermine the very sanctity of human interaction. My one act, however justified, is another nail in the coffin of peaceful coexistence. Where I point the finger at the violence that breaks out through knife crime and the like, I lay its foundations with my every refusal to practise hospitality. Every act that betrays the way of hospitality modelled by Jesus builds both the momentum and common acceptance of bad behaviour. I’m invited to take responsibility for my approach to others, from my thinking about them through to my actions towards them.
Managing your thought life, which in turn will give rise to actions that express a message of love towards others, is a challenge. But I want to train myself in the way of God, since I am convinced this is the best way to build an enduring social life that benefits all.
Are you committed to living a hospitable lifestyle? This is directing the best of you for the best interests of everyone else.
May my thoughts, words, deeds and lifestyle be transformed by the power of your love.