“Remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: It is more blessed to give then to receive.” Acts 20:35

While it is more blessed to give, it is also blessed to receive. Sometimes we emphasize the giving to the exclusion of the receiving. But if there was no one to receive, then the giver would not be blessed either.

Sometimes we are not very good receivers. Compliments, gifts, expressions of appreciation can leave us feeling uncomfortable rather than blessed. Jesus was a good receiver. He accepted the gift of anointing; He accepted a leper’s thankfulness; He accepted His Father’s affirmation, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” Mark 1:11.

Whereas we are sometimes like the unwilling children Jesus spoke of in Luke 13:34 “I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” Not willing to receive, how sad.

Receiving puts us in the place of vulnerability. Somehow receiving makes us feel we are not complete in ourselves. To need someone’s service suggests that we are somehow lacking and inadequate. It might even make us feel incompetent or dependant. Yet Jesus received from others, from His Father and even from angels (Matthew 4:11). We too need to learn to receive. Receive the gift of service others offer us, receive encouragement, affirmation and most importantly we need to receive our Father’s love. Not just acknowledge His love with our mind but truly open ourselves up to receiving it into our hearts.

We not only rob others when we will not receive from them but we also rob ourselves of the blessing of receiving.