Growing up in a Christian home, I was always taught the Scripture "It is better to give than receive." Giving is so fun! Usually, the person on the giving side feels great about giving something to someone else.
Receiving isn't always perceived that way. It can be humiliating at times, especially if you feel like you don't deserve it...or you don't want someone to know that you absolutely needed it...or you are receiving it from someone who you think needs it more than you do!
It's important to be a generous giver, but it is just as important to be a gracious receiver.
My friend Jess McLain and I were driving back to SAGU together after a Labor Day weekend in Louisiana. My parents gave me a little money to give Jess for driving. I offered it to him, honestly thinking that he wouldn't take it. He took the money and told me it was because he didn't want to rob me of a blessing. That statement changed my way of thinking.
I had often been the one who refused something when it was offered to me. I didn't want to be on the receiving end because it was better to give than to receive.
I've learned to be thankful, though, when receiving something. It's usually humbling, but I don't want to let my pride get in the way of God blessing me as well as someone else. Who knows how much that person may have been struggling with obeying God to give, and I would be the one to squelch that? Oh no, I refuse to let that happen!! I will not be a stumbling block in someone else's journey. There are too many benefits from giving and receiving, and I want others to experience that.
Dr. Remedios, our pastor at Trinity Christian Center in Forest Hill, would often say, "God will get it to you if He knows He can get it through you." We've seen that principle work in our lives.
I recently had a friend tell me, "Ya'll are always having stuff given to you." It's true. We do. Lee had a bike given to him, a drum set, a sound system, a computer, a truck. He's also given away a bike, guitar equipment, and countless other things as well as money. He usually asks me before he gives something to someone, and we are almost always on the same page. I usually ask him as well before I give something away, too. It has been a strength in our marriage.
Today, I received a new-to-me MacBook Pro. Completely free. Given to me by a friend who told me it was given to her, and she doesn't really use it much and thinks I would get more use out of it. She said she was more excited about giving it to me than I probably was to get it. I don't know about that...I'm pretty stinkin' excited to get it!!! And we already have plans on who we're giving my PC to.
It's true that you cannot out-give God. Don't hold on to money and things so tightly that He can't bless you with other things. And then be gracious when He starts blessing you in return. You may not know that He's trying to bless you when someone is trying to give you something that you feel you don't deserve. That's how good God is to us. Take on the challenge to be a generous giver but also a gracious receiver!
I wrote another blog post today about giving at the Joli blog. You can read it by clicking here.