Lk 14:12–13 “Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask~| your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite~~ the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.”
It’s been said that leadership is all about attitude. Jesus warned us many times that He scrutinizes our attitudes, or motivations, as much as the acts themselves. His judgment is far beyond any human’s evaluation of another human, and He never makes mistakes because “He [knows] all men” (Jn 2:24).
Insincerity occurs when we do nice things for people who can—-and are expected to—-return the favor. “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours”: corrupt governments build their infrastructure on this principle. Corruption rules when returning a favor takes precedence over rules or laws.
Some people are so driven to succeed and become important that they will only associate with people more important than themselves. Pictures of them with important people abound in their homes and offices. This is all part of a vain effort to gain notoriety or favors. Jesus warned His followers not to seek the important seats (Luke 14:8–-10) to teach the lesson of life and providence that “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (14:11).
We must always ask why we are doing what we do. Someone once said, “The best hospitality is that which is given, not exchanged,” because it is about giving love without repayment in mind. Jesus does not absolutely prohibit inviting “friends, . . . brothers, . . . relatives, [or] rich neighbors” for a meal, but He does prohibit us from being hospitable just so they will invite us back and repay us.
This is important to Jesus because it is the way God thinks, and He expects us to think as He does in our social lives. Jesus said, “If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much” (Matt 5:46).
We are to be hospitable merely to show God’s love and encourage others. Can you care for someone like this today or this week?
“Father, lead me to people in need of help and give me the ability to give generously without expecting anything in return.”