How well do you receive?

So many of us grew up with the adage, ‘it is better to give than to receive’, and I suppose that is a good, solid statement.  After all, it is implied that we should not be selfish, we should share, and we should give of ourselves.  But, let’s not be too quick to give up ‘receiving’.  

Are you a gracious receiver?  For many of us it is so difficult and awkward to receive.  We may feel undeserving, inadequate, and simply not worthy of the gifts that may be offered to us.  It takes us out of our comfort zones.  We are much better givers.  Maybe it’s a bit of a control issue…

Anyway, as we progress through our lives we find that out of necessity we are forced to receive more, we have no choice.  Our physical bodies begin to break down and our mental faculties dull a bit and we discover that we need to rely on others.  We can accept those changes gracefully or we can fight it every step of the way.  I think that we’ve all seen examples of both.  And eventually, we have no choice, we must receive the ultimate gift….the gift of our eternal home.

So, why is it necessary that we become receivers?

Jesus received the precious oil on his feet…..an example for us

Jesus washed his disciples feet…Peter had a bit of trouble receiving that, remember?

Jesus gave us his life…..

Is it good to give?  Of course

Is it good to receive?  I think so.

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15 thoughts on “How well do you receive?

  1. In short, if you cannot receive, you cannot give. Grace comes first – it is received. All springs from that; everything is in response to God’s initiation. To think otherwise is to make oneself the source. I know this because I have so frequently operated from this self-absorbed position and I continue to struggle with trying to not do so!

  2. It is difficult sometimes to receive so wonderful a gift as Jesus gave us. I have…but part of me struggles with why would He love me and do that for me? When we know ourselves and our frailties and limitations, it isn’t always so easy to accept what He has done. BUT HE DID… AND I DO!!! That faith leap is what brings the peace that passes understanding.

  3. I definitely need practice in this area. I feel awkward with complements too, but this takes grace. It makes the giver feel good when you can accept gifts and complements with grace! Lori

  4. When we are babies we are totally dependent receivers but we do this without guile.
    As we mature and learn the cultural norms our giving can often become less tha pure; a game trapped in ego fortifying or with narcissism or even for survival in abuse situations.
    Giving has power whereas receiving is often shadowed by a feeling of powerlessness.
    Perfect giving and receiving is wrapped up in total trust and that is very elusive and rare in human relationships I agree with Fran that God’s grace is given and that is where we have to start from.
    When Christ said we have to be like children I like to think this means to trust totally in Him. I certainly don’t find it easy and have unabiding respect for those who give up everything to follow him, especially monastics and those who live a secluded life.
    Blessings Andie.

  5. So true Phil. I have a very dear friend who is a Trappist and I am amazed at their level of self-less-ness. What a beautiful example of our early church. You are right about children, just one of the many things that we can learn from them.

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