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Strangers to Welcome, Strangers to Repel

Discussion in 'Exposition & Bible Study' started by newton3005, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. newton3005

    newton3005 New Member

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    The second great commandment of Lord Jesus is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. He doesn’t mention loving strangers, though it should be noted that Jesus’ loving your neighbor is derived from Leviticus 19:18 of the Old Testament. There is also Leviticus 19:34 in the Old Testament which says to love the stranger who sojourns among you since you were strangers in the land of Egypt. What does Jesus say about strangers?

    Jesus in Matthew 25: 34-35...37-38...40 says, “...the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For...I WAS A STRANGER AND YOU WELCOMED ME... Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord...when did we see you a stranger and welcome you...And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

    We see the attitude of certain countries toward strangers nowadays. Many of them want to repel strangers without cause to do so. They regard people not individually, but they lump all strangers together, including those who are God-fearing and could be neighbors to them. Who is a neighbor but a person who can help you, as Jesus alluded to in his Parable of the Good Samaritan?

    Now Jesus also says in Luke 10:19, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. And 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “...if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

    So, we have no obligation to help strangers who may harm us. But that leaves the strangers who would not harm us, and I tell you that these are the strangers that Lord Jesus in Matthew 25 refers to, when he says to welcome them.

    How do we guard against strangers who would harm us, without rejecting those who won’t? Jesus gives us some inking of his thinking when in Matthew 7: 15 he says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. YOU WILL RECOGNIZE THEM LBY THEIR FRUITS. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”

    So how do we regard strangers? We first regard them individually because we are all judged by God individually. God does not send good people to hell for sins that others committed. In regarding a stranger, we must first presume that the stranger is not the ravenous wolf that Jesus describes, or a similar person that leans to evil.

    By the same token, since we have an obligation to our households to provide for those in it, we must be mindful of evil ones lurking in the midst of strangers who could be our neighbors. So, we are allowed to separate the strangers who could be our neighbors, from those who tend to evil, based on what they have done. A conscious effort should be made in not rejecting strangers who wouldn’t harm us, since, as God would welcome into His House those who welcome strangers, He will reject those who don’t. Jesus in Matthew 25: 42...43-44-46 says “[The King] will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I WAS...A STRANGER AND YOU DID NOT WELCOME ME... Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you...a stranger...?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    In a sense, we walk a tightrope. On the one hand, we should welcome strangers, but on the other hand we are obligated to keep strangers away from us who would harm us. And we should be mindful of the consequences if we reject the good ones. But we know that by welcoming strangers who would be neighbors to us, that is, they could help us as opposed to harming us, we stand a better chance of inheriting the Kingdom prepared by God.
     
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  2. Silverback

    Silverback Well-Known Member

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    I am all for helping strangers, but I do it through NGO's. I'm not bringing someone into my house I don't know...how would you know if they were, or, we're not a threat? Additionally, you may have a difficult time getting them to leave, and may have to get LE involved. Sometimes, the "I just need a place to crash" leads to a home invasion with all that entails.

    I do belong to, and support a Veterans Service Organisation that helps veterans in crisis situations...that is the best I can do.
     
  3. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    I believe that hospitality is a gift. I’ve known people who eagerly welcomed foreigners, students, missionaries, and students into their home.

    I could never have someone living under my roof that wasn’t a relative or close friend. It would disturb my mind and spirit. I would never forgive myself if anyone came to harm.

    I have no problem hosting dinners, bbq’s, picnics, or social events that bring people together. But home is my sanctuary. I won’t feel unsafe in my abode.
     
  4. GOD Shines Forth!

    GOD Shines Forth! Active Member Supporter

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    Total agreement, LaBèlla. I've shocked a few people over the years, with my "NO" (to requests to stay with). When young, I shared places with others easily. It was "in season" then. I now live in a small 50's era home that is perfect for ONE person. I share money and resources with others, but not my "sanctuary".
     
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  5. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    I’ve never had a roommate and never will. You see different aspects of a person’s character when you reside under the same roof. Adults need their space and privacy.

    I don’t venture to stranger’s homes if we’re not in the same circle. Or have them as guests in mine without familiarity. I must be prudent. Things are different than they were years ago.

    I love to entertain but that isn’t the same as hospitality. I use it as an avenue for sharing light with unbelievers in a comfortable setting. I’m in my element doing this and that’s what I stick to.

    As another person mentioned this can go awry. I knew someone who had challenges getting rid of someone he took in. He’s had to pursue legal measures to remedy the situation. They won’t leave.
     
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  6. GOD Shines Forth!

    GOD Shines Forth! Active Member Supporter

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    Many years ago, I volunteered with a friend at an Easter meal for the homeless. She worked in a different area of the downtown park than I did. Later I saw her walking towards me with a lady who she informed was going home with her to live! She thought she must "help her".

    Didn't take long for that happy home to bust up. But in a surprising twist, it was the homeless gal who couldn't wait to beat it out of there! Ha! My friend was driving the poor homeless woman crazy trying to "help her".

    You're friend's situation is more the norm, though. I see people make this mistake over and over. Squatters won't get so much as a toenail in my door!
     
  7. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    We should help our neighbors commensurate to our capabilities and callings, although there will always be those who demand more of us.
     
  8. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to mention this earlier, but another kind of stranger to repel is someone who moves too fast in inviting you over to his or her home. This is called "home court advantage." People who invite you to cross their boundary lines (such as oversharing personal information too soon) are just as alarming as those who try to cross yours. Because eventually, you will see that they were doing so with the expectation of crossing your boundaries in return.

    "A manipulative individual may insist on you meeting and interacting in a physical space where he or she can exercise more dominance and control. This can be the manipulator’s office, home, car, or other spaces where he feels ownership and familiarity (and where you lack them)"

    14 Signs of Psychological and Emotional Manipulation
     
  9. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    We didn’t do a lot of visiting when I grew up. We saw family and friends they knew well and vetted. The circle was small.

    It was my parents (and relatives) conviction that we are ignorant of what takes place behind closed doors. And the image we have of that individual may be far from the truth.

    I think its unwise to mistake belief as familiarity and trust. Sharing a belief in God doesn’t mean the person is safe, trustworthy or honest. That must be discerned over time.

    I interact with people in public spaces until I know their character and have seen a constancy in their behavior and spiritual fruit if they’re believers.
     
  10. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    I've made that mistake in the past. She had quite a number of friends in the church. I thought that if other Christians trusted her, there is no harm in accepting her invitation for dinner so soon.

    At that time, I couldn't distinguish between a person who is really trusted and just "popular" because of her wits and superficial charm. A person could fool many people while eventually revealing her true colors to those whom she evaluated as capable of being manipulated.

    "By asking you general and probing questions, they establish a baseline about your thinking and behavior, from which they can then evaluate your strengths and weaknesses."

    14 Signs of Psychological and Emotional Manipulation

    Now I finally know better, that a Christian stranger is still a stranger.
     
  11. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    Someone chided me about my stance on this site and others they deemed too cautious. But one thing I’ve learned is the value of observation. You don’t have to fall in a pit to realize that’s the wrong street. And I’ve watched enough calamity through close friendships to realize my parents were right.

    Pain takes a toll. The more you’re afflicted the harder you become and the more you close. And I don’t want to do that or become jaded either. I’ll miss opportunities for real connections and drag a lot of baggage around.

    I can usually feel something within me. A growing affinity or kindness the person inspires. And we’re usually drawn to the other. Its mutual and loving.

    There are some people on the site who evoke that within me. When I see their posts I smile. And something smiles within me. I can’t explain why. But that’s usually the result of the Holy Spirit’s influence. And I go with the flow. :)
     
  12. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    I like you avatar, LaBèlla!
     
  13. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    Thank you. This is an old one. I love her work. But its a different look for this site. :)
     
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