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Jesus said, “Whatever you did to the least of these my brethren, you did it unto me”. We don’t know who is disguised as a stranger, some even have even entertained angels unawares (Mt 25:35-45;

Put yourself in their place

Heb 13:2). Be welcoming and hospitable (not gullible, but discerning) to strangers considering them as friends who we are yet to be acquainted with. The Israelites were told, “Do not oppress foreigners for you know what it is like” (Ex 23:9). That is, use your experiences of life to empathise with exiles and refugees. The Bible’s advice is to be helpful and considerate to all people, doing to them as we would they do to us (Lk 6:31).

As Christians we are strangers in this world, just passing through on our way to glory, and therefore not governed by the world’s corrupt values (1 Pet 1:17, 2:11). As believers we are no longer foreigners, but members of God’s household – part of the heavenly family (Eph 2:19).

See also: discernment, friends/friendship, golden rule, gullible, hospitality.

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