When Receiving is Better than Giving

Today I read a devotion from Cross Walk entitled When Receiving is Better than Giving.  This quickly got my attention because I had always been taught that it was better to give than to receive.  So I started reading.

… the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.  Matthew 20:28 NIV

matthew-20-28As I was reading the first line of this devotion…treadmills are not for the faint of heart, I started remembering when I had a gym membership almost three years ago.

I would step into the gym and hope that no one noticed the fat girl who just walked through the doors.  As if she belonged there, seriously?  No way.  She looks like the heaviest thing she had lifted all day was a dozen twinkies.

I would not change in the locker room, I came from my house in the gym shorts I planned on getting sweaty in and then driving the 30 minutes home….gross!  There was NO way I was going to change with all of the those super toned women.  Umm no!

I timidly stepped on the treadmill.  I didn’t dare try to use any of the other fancy equipment, I had no idea what they were for or how to turn them on AND there was NO way I was going to ask.

I would walk and walk and walk.  Yup, no running for this gal.  I would walk for an hour but nothing changed, not the way I felt about myself, not the way I looked, nothing except I was now beyond tired and still had to go home and feed the kids.

Every day I lived my life remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

I volunteered whenever I could wherever I could.  The word no never came from my mouth.  I lived in a house full of chaos.  I lived a life where I was completely exhausted and run down.  I was always sick.  I started snapping at the people that I had volunteered to help.  Not that any of this was their fault.  I would complain about helping others to my husband which led to fights at home because he wasn’t supposedly on my side.

I got to the point where I gave up trying to help anyone.  I gave up on my walk with Him.  I always felt like I was a failure and I felt miserable inside.  Why couldn’t I find the peace that others found when they served Him?  I just wanted to please Him.

I had lost sight of a few things. And one of those is that when it came to my relationship with Jesus, it was definitely better to receive than it was to give.  I was at a point in my faith where I needed to stop trying to please Him and just get close to Him. The devotion today reminded me that I should remember Mary and Martha, and the Samaritan woman.

One thing that struck me today was this:

Jesus delights in giving to us.  It’s why He came.  He didn’t come for us to serve Him.  He came to give His all for us.  And when we receive from His never-ending supply, then we have fuel to give to others.

Possibly the reason why I felt like a failure before was because I was so busy being busy “serving” the Lord that I forgot to take a moment to just be with Him.  To pray to Him. To listen to that small voice.  I was so busy that I didn’t stop to just enjoy being a child of God and to strengthen my faith. Because of this I turned from Him a long time ago.  I have just recently started my walk with Jesus again.

Take this time to just sit quietly and talk to God.  I know I have a hard time doing this because I get lost at what I should say to Him, how I should say it.  But then I remember something that I had told my daughter a long time ago…place your head in His lap and talk to Him like He is your best friend because He is.  He doesn’t care how you come to Him.

So today, pull up the empty chair to the table and ask Jesus to sit for a visit.  Have your cup of tea and tell Him all about your day.  If anyone in this world wants to hear about it, He does.

Sending strength, hope and love.

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