[PC-USA] 2017-03-21 - Better to Receive?

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Yes it is true that our focus should be more on giving than on receiving. In fact, the Bible teaches us that if we give to the poor, we give to God.

Prov 19:17a (NAS) One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD.

However, there is a flip side. Each of us have gifts that we are to use to build up the body of Christ, to glorify Him and to help others. And so we must remember that we also need to express grace in receiving, as well as giving.

If you are a logical person, as I am, follow this through to its logical conclusion: If we all insist on being the giver, and won't allow anyone to give to us, then we deprive others of using their own gifts. Relationships in the family of Christ are not supposed to be unilateral, with one person doing all the giving. Rather, we are to be in give-and-take relationships with one another.

Some people just can't stand to let people do something for them, and often it is the way they were raised. Sometimes when someone does something thoughtful or helpful to us, we feel we must reciprocate, but that can actually take away from the other person's service, or joy in giving. In fact, when we find ourselves being insistent on being the "giver" all the time, or insistent on reciprocating, it can actually be a type of false pride. We need to be willing to humbly receive from others, as well.

It can be very important and meaningful to someone, if they are be able to give us a cup of coffee or piece of cake, or whatever they have that they want to share with us or do for us.

For a Biblical example, we need not look any farther than Christ Himself. The most giving person of all time also was a receiver. He allowed people to share in his ministry, by ministering to him. In Luke 7, to the chagrin of those around them, Christ allowed a woman to wash his feet - and she was a "sinner," no less! He even pointed to her as being exemplary of a loving person, someone they should all emulate.

Sometimes, we need to learn to just accept the loving gift of someone else, allow them to exercise their gifts of service, and simply thank God for His presence in that person. It's not all about "tit for tat;" it's about love and service, and we all have a part to play.

Comments or Questions?
[email jan] Janice P. Moser

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