Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Gift of Receiving (Number 40 in a series)

“In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring ye ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 (American Standard Version)

This verse is used so often to remind us to give, to share. Giving to someone else feels good; it fills us with warmth and joy. By giving, we share God’s blessings with someone else and give them an example of God’s love.

Have you ever considered receiving as a form of giving? When you receive, you give to someone else the opportunity to be a giver. This lesson has come home to me time after time. I feel uncomfortable ‘taking’ from someone, not matter how generous their intentions. A little guilt if I don’t have something to give back to them, a thought that someone else needs it (whatever ‘it’ may be) more than I do colors my appreciation sometimes.

Then the still small Voice I have come to recognize only too well reminds me that I have given someone the chance to be blessed by giving. It wasn’t about me; it was about them. My part was to be used by God to allow someone to obey His command, to allow them to experience the same joy I do when I am the one giving.

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Have you been a gracious recipient, allowing someone to be blessed by giving? Or have you let pride get in the way of being a conduit of God’s blessing? Blessings go both ways, and we must be willing to part of God’s plan whichever way the blessing is going at the moment.

Father, thank You for giving us the blessing of giving and allowing us to be a blessing by receiving. Help us to be a gracious reflection of Your love in all circumstances.

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