The Physical Proximity Effect of Hospitality
I propose that the Physical Proximity Effect will change the rules we Christians
are operating by. Where we place our physical bodies; next to our neighbor or the lost; is a more accurate spiritual indicator for the Body of Christ than our cool worship team, mega-campuses, bigger-than-life video sermons or back-pack drives. And I say that in complete love! These are all wonderful tools and I applaud the attitude of excellence for Christ; but where is our focus?
Romans 12:1 says this: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Now I know I am going to rattle some of you, but against all popular Christian interpretations; I disagree with the idea that Romans 12:1 or I Corinthians 6:19-20 are talking about the care and feeding of our physical body. I don’t believe these verses are directing us to eat healthy and exercise. While eating healthy is beneficial, is that all this verse means? Did Christ die for a healthy eating habit?
So how do I honor God with my body? I suggest it is where my body is in physical proximity to those who are lost. I sacrifice my personal comfort, privacy, time and money to do the only kind of worship that matters: reaching the lost. My job is to build His kingdom on earth until He comes. That doesn’t happen so well long distance or on social media. My worship happens up-close and personal, physically side-by-side with my neighbor anywhere in the world I happen to live.
Bringing our neighbors to our table can be the first step of worshiping God with your physical body. It begins and builds a relationship that points our neighbor to Christ. While you invite them to sit next to you, the Holy Spirit in you will be working to transform both of you from the inside out. Relationships are always two ways, never one-sided. You are not just reaching your neighbor; you are growing and changing yourself into the image of Christ as well. You must be the willing, obedient host presenting your body as your act of worship. Put yourself in “physical proximity” to your neighbor, around your table, and see what God does with your hospitality.