I am terrible receiver of tangible help. I mean terrible. I second guess gifts. I ask “are you sure?” a million times when someone offers me something that I feel is more than I deserve. I have refused gifts and physical help when I needed it. I experience guilt and humiliation at being on the receiving end of financial blessings. I tend to always try to “give-back” with a return blessing to someone that has given me their time and energy… And I don’t enjoy when I receive a surprise and can’t reciprocate. I am a terrible receiver. This is pride…absolute pride…and I abhor its effect on how I receive. In the last few years, and especially the last few months, God has been teaching me how to be a better receiver and it has been a bittersweet experience.
As a believer we are constantly put in the position of receiving. We receive daily mercy, grace, hope and love from our Father. For some these are more easy to accept…or at least we have fooled ourselves into believing we freely accept them. But too often we find ourselves doing something we don’t want to do (or don’t believe should be done) in the name of Jesus as a believer. And there in lies the root of the problem; Unbelief. Unbelief tries to shimmy its way into our core and replace Christ’s truth of who we are, with the conclusion that we are unworthy, not holy enough or lacking, despite the fullness we have received in Christ. This unbelief can translate over into both tangible and spiritual receiving.
There is an art to receiving. Proper receiving is done in humbleness, gentleness, and gratitude allowing the giver to be blessed. I am quite experienced in giving and understand how for the believer this divine sanction goes beyond the feel good sensation in helping someone, but gives them confidence and convinces them to continue listening to the Lord’s instruction in other areas of their lives.
What I have been challenged in understanding is regarding the art to receiving well and how this allows me to accept blessings received beyond the tangible gift a giver is bestowing me. A major part of receiving well is experiencing enjoyment in a season of constant receiving. Enjoyment beyond being content. Enjoyment in receiving out of necessity and not having my own self sufficiency in any area of my life. See I can be content in this season my family finds ourselves. Contentment that we are in a season of relying on daily manna to survive. Daily manna that is spurring us to spiritually thrive. But there is a difference in contentment and enjoyment.
I have asked myself countless times why I am not enjoying this season of receiving. Why am I not receiving well? What is the lie I am believing that stops my enjoying the amazing and miraculous gifts our God has tangibly been showering us with and providing for all our needs?
FEAR. Fear of judgment. Fear He won’t continue to provide. Fear this hard season will never end. Fear the kids will be adversely affected. Fear of misunderstanding. Fear of loss of reputation. Fear of misrepresenting Christ. Fear of not pleasing people we love…and the list goes on and on… So much FEAR. But perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)
One can not live in joy and fear at the same time. Much like the reality of grace, we have previously talked about, we can not both live in grace and condemnation. Living in joy with positivity can not be lived while we are in fear and allowing negativity in our lives. Our joy and enjoyment in receiving is not a bad thing. For it is our Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom. (Luke 12:32) We do not have to fear receiving. There is no judgment or condemnation from our Lord in receiving that which he has ordained for us to have in his timing.
I say this, yet I admit at this time I am not fully convinced of it yet…Even today as I prepare for my completely donated trip to Austin, which I know I am supposed to go on, I am questioning if I REALLY SHOULD go because I feel a pang of not being self sufficient…which creates fear…Oh, pride why do you have to ruin everything?
Where are you experiencing fear that is causing you to not be able to enjoy the season you are in? Do you struggle with being either a good receiver or a good giver?