Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It's Not Necessarily Better to Give

It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

These words were quoted by Luke, who claims that our Lord, Jesus Christ said them. Sounds like something Jesus would say. I don't know...I've been receiving an awful lot lately and I've been pretty blessed. I'm not sure I want to give it up.

I haven't had to cook a meal in almost two weeks. Just when we start running out of food, someone brings a meal. Cards have been pouring in, well wishes, friends e-mailing and messaging me on Facebook. People have brought me places I've needed to go, and my husband, Brian has done everything from clean the toilets (which I know he detests) to heating up the meals and cleaning up the kitchen. I've had so many people ask me what they can do that I've run out of ideas. I have been blessed beyond belief!

Notice that the verse doesn't say it's better to give than to receive (which is how we often misquote this scripture)---it's more blessed to give than to receive. According to the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, which I'm sure must weigh more than the limited 8 pounds I'm allowed to lift (I see why it's called an exhaustive concordance...I was exhausted after pulling it off the bookshelf...you have to be quite strong to lift it), the word blessed means fortunate, well-off, happy. 

It is not necessarily better to give. Sometimes it's better to receive. But it's always important to remember that when we're on the receiving end, the one who is most blessed is the giver. As one who is currently in a position of receiving, it's better for me to be receiving than giving; I'm not in a position to give much right now. As much as I feel blessed having all of these people do for and give to me, I tend to think that the person giving feels so much more blessed than I. Think about the times that you gave. It felt really good, didn't it? Knowing that you helped a person in need takes you out of yourself, if only for a short time. 

One thing that I've learned from being on the receiving end is that it's important to graciously accept the gift, whatever it may be. Don't make a big deal about it. The giver desires to give. The receiver needs to receive. It's simple, but we complicate it by thinking we don't deserve it, or that we should be capable of doing something ourselves. That shouldn't factor in. It's irrelevant. Give. Receive. Accept. Thank. Do the same. In the secular world, it's called "passing it on." 

If you're in a position to give, give freely, unhindered, without expectations. If you find yourself in a position of receiving, accept the gift and thank the giver. Then, when you're able, go and do the same. The world will be a "better" place, if not a more "blessed" place.

Blessings Along the Path,

Song of the Day---This song has no relevance to today's topic, but I felt so strongly that someone needs to hear it today. For whomever it is, fear not. He will not let you go. And there WILL be an end to your trouble. Hold on to Him and praise Him.
You Never Let Go (Matt Redman)

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