Several times in recent weeks I have had several people speak to me about the difficulties they experience in receiving from others. There are routines and occasions in our lives where many commonly expect to receive. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and Christmas come to mind. Other times, it can be a challenge to receive what someone has to give. This can be particularly true when we are experiencing some type of trial or difficulty.
Speaking from personal experience, I can remember recent difficulties and people very close to me tell me, just call if I can do anything to help you.
I find it difficult to pick up the phone or reach out to any of dozens of people that I know would help in an instant. Why is that?
Maybe it’s a fear of appearing weak. Maybe it’s that we don’t want to burden or trouble another. It could be a feeling of unworthiness. Or, just maybe it is that we will have an unpaid debt. So, we sit and suffer through a situation. We endure the circumstance longer than would be necessary. Many times the very people that will be forever resistant to reaching out for help are the same ones that will sacrifice all they have to help someone else — no questions asked.
The Bible teaches us that we should be cheerful givers. In 2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV), Paul writes, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Receiving is an altogether different experience.
Reflecting back on earlier years as I considered developing my faith walk. I believed in God. I believed Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of His people. I could not accept that I was included in this.
The gift made through the cross was only for everyone else. It wasn’t for me. I could not receive forgiveness that God was extending to me through His son. Being unable to receive kept me separated from God.
Sometimes, when we are on the receiving end of a gift, our view is we are not worthy. All we can really do is say thank you and receive the full measure and blessing of the gift.
This can be an instant where we are allowing a blessing to flow to the giver — just because we allowed ourselves to receive. In other instances, it may be that we are reaping what we have sowed.
We have poured into the lives of another and someone is being led to pour into our lives. Maybe we need to speak about how humbled we are to receive such a gift.
We certainly need to thank God that the Holy Spirit was used to encourage someone to step into our circumstance.
Having a spirit that is unwilling to receive may be a sinful spirit of pride. I’ve got this. I don’t need anyone’s help. It’s okay for me to help others, but it’s not okay for me to receive help.
By not receiving the help or gift that is offered keeps me in the muck and mire of my situation a little longer and I miss an opportunity to be used in a way that God would intend.
As in all things, go to the Lord in prayer. Seek His counsel about the condition of your spirit. Do I have a heart that is right and true to Your Word? Am I blocking your provision that you are trying to send through another.
Positioning ourselves to not be able to receive gifts and help from others in the most extreme of circumstances, can lead to death.
To a much lesser degree, it can keep us bound in our situation. Our Father wants us to experience joy. Psalm 51:10 (ESV) reminds us to call out to God, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
So when we ask that age old question, “Is it better to give or receive?” Maybe, just maybe, it depends on our situation.
By receiving, it helps someone who has the role of giver. And it strengthens us to be in a position to pour into another’s situation.