Joy in receiving....

Joy to the world, the Lord is come...
let earth receive her King
Let every heart, prepare Him room...

Do you find it easy or difficult to receive? We often quote that it is more blessed (and so we think spiritual) to give than to receive, but I think it's easier to give than to receive. I like being generous. I love to see others blessed. But when I am on the receiving end I feel humbled...and sometimes guilty, and sometimes obligated. Many times I squirm...because either I feel undeserving or feign underserving. There have been times when I had no intention to give a gift to someone, but after they gave something to me, I ran out to pick something out for them.

Why can't I just receive - fully - with gratitude and without obligation to return the favor?
I do this poorly on a human level so when the God of the universe comes in to lavish His love and delight and care on me...oh my...I stand in the way of what I most want - to let myself be loved utterly.

Leonard Sweet says, "My inability to receive is the greatest disability I have."

How are you as a receiver (and might also say as a lover, for a lover must learn to gracefully dance in the giving and receiving of love)?

And how might joy - true and lasting joy - be connected to learning how to be a good receiver? In other words, how might joy be the natural, irrepressibley by-product of our simply stopping in the midst of the ordinary to "receive" all that a moment has to offer us?

The bottom line gist of Christianity is receiving: "For it is by grace (unearned, unmerited pardon) that you are saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not a result of works so that no one can boast." Eph 3. 8-9

unearned...not of yourselves...a gift...not a result of one can boast...

How might you become a better "receiver" this Christmas? Will you let others step in to help serve your needs - even if they do it imperfectly? Will you be more present to the moments and linger in the beauty of even the simplest tastes, sights, sounds and smells of Christmas?

Paula GambleAdventComment