Thursday, December 29, 2011

On Giving and Receiving

This Christmas season taught me about giving . .

And it also taught me a lot about receiving.

For because I come from a looooong ol' line of pure, unadulterated, die-hard givers.

On both sides of my family.

So it wasn't like I was given a dominant render-service-without-expecting-anything-in-return-exclamation-point gene coupled with a hidden recessive it's-important-to-receive-as-well-as-to-give-so-that-the-person-rendering-service-to-you-can-be-blessed-like-you-are-blessed-when-you-render-service-to-others gene.


I got the double whammy of the dominant-dominant "Service to Others Only" gene.

"Take Nada in Return."

And I've been so good at it. . . about taking nada in return, that is.

Because that's wis the legacy of my parents, and my parents' parents, and my parents' parents' parents'.

Givers and Servers they all were.

Not Takers and Receivers.

And here is where this year's Christmas lesson came in for me.

Drum Roll please . . . pah-rum-pah-pum-pum)

There is a reason God wants us to serve others.

He does it because if we didn't think outside of ourselves, we would all be selfish, narcissistic little brats - always thinking of ourselves, constantly feeling sorry for ourselves, finding ways to puff ourselves up yadda, yadda, yadda.

So God, knowing full-well what happens to us in our carnal, natural state, commands us to serve others.

To get out minds off ourselves and our problems and our things.

And place our minds and our hearts in His, by loving and serving His children.

And while we're off doing all we can to obey the commandment to "Do Unto Others," a magnificent transformation occurs.

We start to look outside of ourselves, and feel less sorry for ourselves and more observant of those who are less fortunate than we, and somehow, our nature slowly changes and becomes more like His.

More kind.

More tenderhearted.

More charitable.

And that is where I learned of another commandment.

The one that exhorts us to "Come Unto Him."

Coming unto Christ means, in essence, that we must RECEIVE Him.

And that requires a great deal of humility, especially when "Give" is your mantra and "Receive" is four letter word plus three.

But I'm learning that in how I receive is how I can become even a better giver.

It is first by giving.

And giving some more.

And at times, giving when it seems like there is nothing left to give.

And then, when my heart is sufficiently humble, He then asks others to give unto me.

Which means I can either refuse.

And refusing means I choose not to accept Him.

Or I can receive with a profoundly, broken heart.

Which means I let Him in.

It means I accept Him!

And in this humble receiving I am offered the opportunity to become more like Him.

More kind.

More tenderhearted.

More charitable.

Indeed, I am learning that Christmas is about the giving and about the receiving.

And it lasts all lifetime long.

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