Giving and Receiving

I have the most amazing hairstylist. Amazingly talented, she’s an older woman with a wealth of wisdom that she shares while she does my hair. We talk about everything and anything and I love her to pieces.

This past week, we were talking about how hard it is to do something nice for some people. For some reason, they see your act of kindness as a disservice. It’s as if they think you’re telling them they aren’t able to do anything for themselves or that they’re weak, when it’s not that at all. You’re just trying to do something nice for them. It can be very frustrating.

Then she told me something that her mother used to tell her: You can’t be a giver unless you have a receiver. A simple truth that’s often overlooked.

Acts 20:35 ends with “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I want to note that it doesn’t say “It’s more blessed to give” and ends there. It’s saying there’s a blessing in giving, but you can’t give if you don’t have a receiver. If no one is willing to receive, there’s no giving. And when there’s no receiving, there’s no blessing for those who want to give.

A friend of mine talked about being a gracious receiver. Why is it so hard to accept a kindness and say thank you? I suppose when you’ve spent a lifetime helping others, it’s hard accept help from others. It requires a change in mindset that some are unwilling to make. But refusing a kindness is throwing something good back at them and saying you don’t appreciate what they’re trying to do. That’s a very hurtful thing. You’ve robbed them of a chance to bring a blessing on themselves. You’ve taken away something good from them.

When I do acts of kindness, it makes me feel very good inside. I feel like God is smiling at me and saying, “Good job.” I treasure that feeling, often called warm fuzzies. The feeling is so satisfying that I want to do it again and again. It’s like God’s little reward for loving others.

Maybe the blessing is bigger for those who give than those who receive, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a blessing in those who receive. For one, you’ve allowed someone else to bless themselves which is similar to giving something back to them. So the receiver can also be the giver-backer. It’s a circle that brings blessings on both the giver and the receiver. What a blessed circle to be a part of!

So be a receiver for those who want to do acts of kindness. Don’t take the blessing away from anyone by refusing their offer to do something for you. Become a gracious receiver and say thank you. Allow that person to have the blessing of knowing they’ve done something good for someone.

2 Comments
  1. Great thoughts. I struggle with receiving, but am getting better when I remember that I need to remember that others are blessed by blessing me.

  2. I used to feel like I didn’t ‘need’ people’s help/ blessings… and I wasn’t sure if I felt worthy of them either. But as I’ve aged, and really learned who I am, I love both sides! I especially love to feed people, and get food from people! It feels like such a personal gift… food.

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