‘Don’t visit your neighbours too often, or you will wear out your welcome.’ Proverbs 25:17 NLT
Sometimes, as Christians, we fall into the trap of focusing exclusively on big stuff like world evangelism, spiritual gifts, and the second coming of Christ. As a result, we end up neglecting the seemingly small things like common courtesy. But the Bible speaks about courtesy—and if it’s in there, it’s important!
Benjamin Franklin quipped that fish and visitors stink after three days. This may explain why Solomon said, ‘Don’t visit your neighbours too often, or you will wear out your welcome.’
When your host yawns for the tenth time, looks at his wife and says, ‘Well, darling, let’s go to bed so these nice people can go home,’ you know you’ve outworn your welcome.
‘Surely everybody knows that!’ you say. No, they don’t; that’s why God addresses it in His Word. Here are ten rules for being a good guest:
(1) Be considerate of the other person’s time.
(2) Don’t interrupt when someone else is talking.
(3) Don’t dominate the conversation.
(4) Don’t arrive too early or stay too late.
(5) Set appointed times for visits. (Even good friends like advance notice.)
(6) Be courteous and congenial without being patronising.
(7) Be honest about time limits for your visits, and make sure it coincides with other people’s schedules.
(8) Help your host or hostess clean up after the meal.
(9) For visits lasting more than a day, take your hosts out to eat at least one meal.
(10) Send a thank-you note or email expressing your appreciation for the gift of their time and kindness.
If you want to make friends and keep them—abide by these rules.
SoulFood: Matt 6:16–18, Isa 58:1–11, Luke 4:1–13
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023