With Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday all behind us, we’ve officially entered the “season of giving.” For every gift given, there must also be a recipient. I started wondering why the recipient gets left out of the equation.
Here’s my thinking about why receiving gets a bad rap and why you should change the way you think about it.
Jesus said it. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
In my mind, that means giving is “better.”
If giving is better, receiving must be worse. Maybe even “bad.”
And, if I receive (especially if I receive too much!), I am bad.
Crazy thinking, I know. But I also know my brain is not the only one to go down this rabbit trail of destruction. (Ladies, we are NOT very good receivers most of the time.)
Let me say it clearly. Because giving and receiving is a cycle, you are blessed when you give, but you are ALSO blessed when you receive and here are three reasons why.
#1 RECEIVING BLESSES GOD
God is the initiator of everything– the original Giver. Everything we have is from Him. We don’t even have the capacity to desire Him or love Him unless He gives it to us. It’s sort of like giving your child money so she can buy you a Christmas present.
God loves for you to receive from him. He doesn’t think you are selfish or bad. He has good gifts that he wants to give you (and has already given you!) and it gives Him great joy for you receive His good gifts fully into your heart. The Giver is blessed when the receiver truly receives.
#2 RECEIVING BLESSES THE RECEIVER
When someone gives you something and you receive it, you now have something that you didn’t have before. That, in and of itself, is a blessing. But it’s not that easy, is it?
How often do you receive a gift, whether it’s something as small and simple as a smile or something as extravagant as a dear friend paying your way for a cruise, without wondering what the other person wants from you or feeling like you owe them? Ask yourself, “Did I really receive that gift? Or is it holding me hostage until I can give something to them?”
We’ve got to be good receivers. It’s critical. If you can’t receive, you’re like a clog in the cycle because you can only give what you have received. Think about it: if you don’t have $500, you can’t give it away; if you don’t have joy, peace, love from God, you can’t give that away. If you’re frustrated, grumpy or stressed… guess what you give away (even if you’re not trying!).
We were created as receivers. Remember that part about being a vessel? (2 Timothy 2:21) Vessels must receive before they can pour out. The key to being a good receiver is to believe and receive the Truth about who God says you are, not who the world says you are.
You are blessed when you receive peace, joy and love from the God who created you.
#3 RECEIVING BLESSES OTHERS
The final way you are blessed by receiving is when you give. Sharing with others what God has given us (love, peace, joy) completes the cycle. Even small things can be very meaningful and mean more to others than you might know.
A few years ago I was asked to be a greeter at my very large (300+) women’s Bible study. Truthfully, my introvert self was not that excited about having to get there early and say “Good Morning. So glad you are here,” to a bunch of women I didn’t even know. It had always made me uncomfortable in previous years when other greeters had said that to me. Not being a good receiver, I didn’t believe it was very genuine. I mean, it’s not like anyone would notice if I weren’t there, so what did it really matter to them if I were?
However, I received a little word from God. He asked me to really see each woman as she walked in the door—to see her with His eyes, not with the eyes of Kathy Taylor. My assignment was not merely to greet each woman. It was to be sure that each woman believed and received that she was seen by God that morning.
That made all the difference in the world in my attitude and my willingness to see and serve. From the bottom of my heart, I genuinely and sincerely greeted each woman and was truly “glad she was there.”
It’s more blessed to give than to receive.
Yes, this is still the case. God starts the cycle initiates the giving. We receive, then we give. You see, you get blessed twice! Once when you receive, and again when you give. And God is blessed when He gives and when you receive and when you give. That’s a lot of blessing—that ALL starts with you receiving.
I encourage you, during this holiday season to receive as much as possible from God. Ask Him what He wants you to receive from Him. Receive his love. Receive his joy. Receive his peace.
Because the more you receive the more you can give.