Growing up, one of mom’s most memorable quotes was, “it is better to give than to receive.” But, by focusing on just one side of the “act of giving,” a life-long habit of guilt can be born.
Although we must never ignore the value and importance of generosity and selfless giving, we must also remember that, in order to give, someone must receive! And that’s where a challenge can arise. While some people focus more on receiving, others find it uncomfortable, and even difficult to accept a favor, gift, help, or recognition.
That would be me! —the uncomfortable one. So much so, that on Christmas eve, when our family gathers to exchange gifts, I purposely wait to open my presents last, all-the-while hoping no one notices so I can open them quickly in private.
It’s not that I’m not grateful when family and friends express their love for me by offering me a favor or a present, it’s more about how it makes me feel when they do. But that’s just it – I am often so focused on my own emotions, that I regularly overlook the feelings and needs of others.
As we prepare to celebrate Easter in remembrance of Jesus’ selfless sacrifice, we must stop and take time to remember, “our salvation and eternal life are only possible when we willingly and whole-heartedly receive God’s grace-filled gift.”
Just prior to his arrest and crucifixion, Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples. Before reclining for their Last Supper together, Jesus knelt before each disciple to wash their feet. But, Simon Peter initially protested, not wanting to receive Jesus’ humble offering.
Jesus in turn replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” (John 13:1-8 NLT)
How often do we respond similarly to Jesus and to others?
When thoughts come to your mind like, I can’t accept this, or I don’t deserve this, courageously choose to be a grateful receiver by implementing the following six steps:
1. TAKE YOUR THOUGHTS CAPTIVE!
Ask God for wisdom and discernment. (2 Corinthians 2:5)
2. REMEMBER: YOU ARE WORTHY!
God wonderfully and marvelously created you. (Psalm 139:14)
3. FOLLOW JESUS’ EXAMPLE!
Jesus modeled both generous giving and gracious receiving. (Luke 8:1-3)
4. PUT YOURSELF IN OTHERS’ SHOES!
Don’t rob others of their opportunity to give. (Matthew 7:12)
5. OVERCOME ANY HESITANCY!
Seek God’s will in every situation. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
6. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!
Be a generous giver and a grateful receiver. (Hebrews 5:14)
Courage For Life exists to encourage you to embrace your God-given courage and live the abundant life God intended for you. Follow Courage For Life on Instagram @GodGivesCourage, and stay tuned for more blogs each week on CourageForLife.org.