Giving and Receiving

To truly give thanks requires acknowledgment of need, a heart of humility, and an appreciation for the giver. Think about it! It’s hard to give thanks for things for which you see no need. It’s also hard for a prideful, self-sufficient person to recognize or accept a gift. Finally, it’s hard to give thanks if you care nothing for the heart of the giver.

Think about some of the gifts you have received in times past – that shirt or blouse that didn’t fit, or the fragrance you couldn’t stand, or that “outlandish” tie or scarf. You hem and haw around – you may even say “Thank You,” but were you truly thankful? Or how about the times people have offered help when you were in need or given advice to help you out of a particular dilemma, but you were too prideful or self-sufficient to receive the help or even consider the advice, so you scoffed or turned it down without regard for the feelings of the giver? I’m sure we all at times have done such things, because we are all “children of Adam” – sinful and self-centered.

But givers, too, can be selfish and self-motivated. This shows up when we don’t take time to really get to know the person or his/her needs and wants, or when we give something because “we” like it (without regard for the tastes and likes of the receiver), or when we give “gifts” to control or manipulate another.

Giving and receiving – two sides of a coin. As human beings we often fall short. But God, the perfect Giver gave the perfect Gift. He knows us intimately; He gives the Gift to meet our deepest need; He gives freely, without manipulation or control, out of pure love. The question is, will we receive His gift? Some people don’t know their own need, and thus don‘t recognize the greatness of the gift. Others are too prideful and self-sufficient to admit their need and receive the Gift. They care nothing for the heart of the Giver or the worth of the Gift.

I encourage you during this season of giving and receiving, to gratefully receive the perfect Gift (Jesus Christ), given by the good and gracious Giver (your great Creator God), to meet your deepest need. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)  “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name … (John 1:12)

Mary Jo Nutting

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