Romans 12:13 tells us that we are to meet the needs of the saints and practice hospitality. During our time overseas, I've had ample opportunity to learn what this really means, and what it doesn't mean. One of the biggest obstacles I've faced is my own perfectionism. I want my house to be perfect and the meal to be spectacular. I've found that this usually translates into pride and a desire for approval.
There are a couple of incidents that God has used to break me of this. One happened shortly after we moved to Central Asia. I had agreed to host an all-male team of US students with their professor, along with a couple of national students, overnight. The day before they arrived, our building's gas was cut off, leaving us without hot water or any means of cooking. We lived mostly on bread and cheese for four days and took cold showers. (Thankfully, it was July!) Needless to say, Martha Stewart would not have been impressed. Still, word got back around to me from yet another national student that our willingness to fill our house with wall-to-wall sleeping bags had made a good impression.
I still have a long way to go in learning how to practice Biblical hospitality, so I enjoyed this article on the subject. It starts off with a good reminder on the spiritual aspect of hospitality: serving Jesus by serving others. Then it gives some great practical tips on how to be prepared for hospitality.