I have always encouraged people who were in need to receive well, the help of the community (e.g. church, friends, etc.). I believe that life is seasonal. There are seasons when we have plenty and so we should give abundantly. On the other hand, there will be seasons where we have little and so we should receive gratefully.
The key here is to be as good a receiver as you are a giver! The problem is that most of us struggle to receive well!
Recently I read a great article about this very subject, written by Chip Anderson. He writes,
Giving without receiving is a power trip. Giving without receiving does not allow others into our need and ache. Giving without receiving deprives others of the joy of serving us. Giving without receiving does not require trust, humility or vulnerability.
These days God is teaching me to receive… to be a good receiver. It’s awkward, frustrating, embarrassing, humbling, and necessary! I’m realizing that what I have is not enough to accomplish the vision God has called me to. My guess is that’s probably true for you too! God has called you and me to do something that will require more strength, wisdom, money, experience, etc. than we have stacked up on our “Look what I have” shelves! Bottom line, we have to be good receivers if we’re ever going to accomplish what God is calling us to do!
Chip wraps up his post with this insight:
Full-bodied, authentic, give-and-take community is scary, sometimes painful and awkward, and other times beautiful and gracious. But, in reality, the kind of community that only gives and never receives is not really community at all; just a cheap imitation.
I want to create and be a part of a community that not only gives well, but receives well too! Thanks Chip for a great reminder!
You can read the entire article here… and you won’t be disappointed!