He came to Simon Peter who said to Him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”…”No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” John 13:6,8.
Many of us find it an easy and joyful thing to be generous givers but why is it that, like Peter, we find it difficult to be grateful receivers?
I think it reveals false humility and is a symptom of how little we are willing to receive from God. God is a lavish, abundant and generous giver, and He gives graciously to take care of every lack and weakness in us. Because we are self-sufficient and independent, we reject the very grace that bonds us with Him and strengthens our fellowship with Him.
On the human level, a heart willing to receive acknowledges the giver’s freedom to choose. When we resist a gift, we challenge the giver’s right to do what he wants to do. We superimpose our will on his will and we become the controller. In fact, we place ourselves above the giver.
When we refuse a gift, we question the giver’s motive and integrity, we challenge his obedience and we rob him of the boomerang blessing of giving, the joy as well as the reward of generosity. Above all, we rob God of the glory of which He is the ultimate reason for it all. We block what the Apostle Paul says about giving: “…Your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11b.
Someone once said that the depth of a friendship is revealed by how much one is able to ask of a friend. I think the opposite is also true. The depth of our relationship with God is revealed by how much we are willing to receive from Him.
However, sometimes we make demands in prayer because we have a sense of entitlement. Have you ever asked God for something for a friend because he/she is such a “good” person and deserves it? That puts God under obligation to that person, and that is totally foreign to Him. God is obliged to no-one. Everything He gives us is because of His grace. God gives because He is generous, not because we deserve it.
Special grace is needed to be both generous givers and grateful receivers and both depend on our attitude to stewardship versus ownership. If we believe that what we have belongs to us, it is difficult to be generous because we hang on to what is ours and reject what others want to share with us.
God wants us to be both givers and receivers because His desire is for there to be equality in the body.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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