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Learning to Receive

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us within the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3

Most women I do know are excellent givers, but not at all times good at receiving. As I ponder this, I ponder if it’s due to how God created us as helpers for our husbands, companions to our coworkers and friends, and even nurses for our children once they’re sick.

It comes natural for us to serve our families, contribute to our workplaces, and provides of ourselves until we’ve got nothing left to offer. Yet, learning to receive is vitally vital to our health and growth. It’s a part of who we were created to be – to receive every blessing we’ve been given through Christ Jesus.

If you’re a wonderful giver but struggle to receive, I pray this post is of great encouragement to you. It is feasible to receive with a joyful mindset, open hands of religion, and a heart of gratitude. 

It Starts with Belief

When we read the verse in Acts 20:35 that claims, “It is more blessed to offer than to receive,” we’d assume Paul is telling the early church that receiving is bad. However, within the context of your complete chapter, we see that Paul is talking about covetousness and the way he avoided this issue by working to produce what was needed for himself and his companions. 

What we consider about receiving matters greatly. If we’ve got the mindset that we should give, serve, and help but never get, be served, or be helped, we’re going to run ourselves ragged and miss out on the blessings around us.

Many times, I’ve witnessed my mom or mother-in-law busy within the kitchen while the remainder of the family is having fun with time together. Usually, with a little bit of coaxing, I’m capable of get them to stop and join the fellowship, however it’s apparent their natural tendency is to serve.

In Psalm 34:8, David said, “Taste and see that the Lord is nice; blessed is the one who takes. refuge in Him.” This passage invites us to partake of the Lord’s goodness and take refuge in Him. It doesn’t once mention giving, but as a substitute, receiving.

Learning to receive starts with belief – the idea that God gives good gifts to His children and desires us to just accept them with joy and thanksgiving. Pray and ask the Lord to alter your mindset around “receiving” and start to embrace the amazing blessings He pours out to you.

Here are more helpful resources on your journey:

Why Does the Book of Acts Say It’s Better to Give Than Receive?

A Prayer for Changing the Way You Think

15 Things to Do If You Need a Change in Perspective

It Requires Humility

It can feel awkward when someone gives us a compliment or word of affirmation, especially after we’re not good at receiving. Our tendency may be to say things like, “Oh, it’s nothing, really,” or “If only you knew the actual me!” But what could occur if we humbly received the sort words of others with sincerity and gratitude? Imagine how their words of affirmation would proceed to bless us as a substitute of being immediately dismissed and forgotten.

In the ESV, Proverbs 22:4 says, “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.” This verse first emphasizes humility, however it also highlights the riches, honor, and reward we receive after we are humble before God.

Learning to receive requires humility – the sort of humility that accepts things from others with real appreciation. Instead of glossing over the act of kindness, or receiving it flippantly, we’re intentional about pausing long enough to comprehend the graciousness of others and the blessings of God.

This isn’t at all times easy, however the more we practice humbly accepting what others give with an easy and sincere “Thank you,” the higher we’ll get at receiving. So, the following time you’re offered a compliment or unexpected act of kindness, pause for a moment before you respond. Look the person in the attention and allow them to know you truly appreciate them. 

Here are more helpful resources on your journey:

What is Humility? Bible Meaning and Importance for Christians

Why We Need to Learn to Take Compliments Well

The Grace and Greatness of True Humility

It Takes Practice

Learning to receive well isn’t going to occur overnight, but, fortunately, there are various times all year long when we are able to practice it. Holidays, celebrations, work gatherings, church settings… all of those provide opportunities to not only serve others but receive from them as well. This may be in the shape of:

-Tangible gifts

-Awards and promotions

-Verbal compliments 

-Help with projects or tasks

-Wisdom, counsel, and guidance

In each scenario, we are able to learn to receive graciously without false guilt or false humility. Yes, it takes practice, but identical to the rest, the more we do it the higher we get at it. At your next gathering, be intentional about receiving. Don’t let compliments slide. Don’t downplay the promotion. Don’t reject the assistance people offer. Be willing to receive what others are greater than willing to offer. Before long, you’ll be an authority giver and receiver!

Here are more helpful resources on your journey:

6 Ways to Seek Wise Counsel in Your Life

What James 1:17 Means By ‘Every Good and Perfect Gift’ is from Above’

It Grows with Gratitude

It might sound counterintuitive to offer more as a way to receive more, but relating to gratitude, that’s exactly how it really works. In fact, have you ever ever prayed with open hands, waiting in eager expectation for what God has for you that day? 

This is an easy habit to include into your personal time with the Lord, and as you do, you’ll end up growing in gratitude for His abundant blessings. With anticipation, you’ll seek His truth, His will, and His way and learn to receive the spiritual blessings He’s already given you in accordance with Ephesians 1:3.

Remember, the Lord is a Giver – He’s the Giver of life, love, and limitless grace. That means, as His daughters, we’re to be receivers of His abundant life, everlasting love, and infinite grace. When we view receiving from this angle, it is going to change into wonderful and joyful for us. And the more lavish we’re in gratefulness and praise to our good, good Father, the more eager we will likely be to receive day by day gifts from Him.

It was John Wesley who said, “Thanksgiving is inseparable from true prayer; it is sort of essentially connected with it. One who at all times prays is ever giving praise, whether in ease or pain, each for prosperity and for the best adversity. He blesses God for all things, looks on them as coming from Him, and receives them for His sake.”

Let’s learn to receive as we grow in our gratitude to the God who loves us and blesses us with every good thing. Let’s practice receiving with sincerity and pause. And let’s humbly accept the kindness others offer by believing within the goodness of each giving and receiving with joy.

Here are more helpful resources on your journey:

4 Ways Gratitude Can Change Your Mindset

There’s a Good Reason for Gratitude

The Attitude of Gratitude

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Tom Merton

Jennifer Waddle is the creator of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayerand is an everyday contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you’ll find her books and join for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesnt Win. She resides along with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth. 

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