Friday, December 16, 2011

Giving vs Receiving

You hear the argument about whether it's more blessed to give than to receive...and I can see where both sides have merit. There's nothing better than giving a gift that is treasured and appreciated. But it's also kind of fun to be the one treasuring and appreciating! ;)
My grandparents have taught me a lot about a lot of things but giving and receiving are things that I learned from them. Some from watching and some from the wise words they shared.
Here is one my grandma shared with me. First off, let me say that my grandma is the consummate lady. Graceful and kind. I never remember her putting herself or her needs first. In fact I wonder sometimes, does she have needs? We never heard about them!? That could be a whole post in it's own right! So, back to the original idea. One time when I was struggling with someone giving me something (I don't even remember the occasion, the giver or the gift at this point but I remember the advice!) my grandma told me "When you refuse a gift, you refuse the giver the chance to be blessed." Wow. It is a little humbling sometimes to take a gift-especially if it's not your birthday or Christmas. If it's just someone's being kind. But if you refuse a gift that is genuinely given from the heart of someone because they want to show love and are depriving THEM of a blessing.
Next is that my grandpa is not a taker. He is just plain not good at it. It makes him anxious and uncomfortable. He is one that will give you his last dime. The shirt off of his back. Anything he has and some things he doesn't. After spending most of his life giving, his worst fear (well, one that he talks about) is being a burden on one of us. He prays daily that God will allow him to live until he dies. In other words, not to let him be an invalid-either mentally or physically. I've tried, unsuccessfully, many times to explain to him that it's not a burden if you want to do it. That it's not a burden to finally have the chance to give back to someone who has spent his life giving....all to no avail. He is not buying it. So, I pray the same thing he does. That he stays fully alive until the time comes for him to die.
But sometimes it's good to allow people to give you something (take you out to lunch-you don't always have to pay Grandpa!) or take care of you (you really shouldn't be on a ladder cleaning your own gutters!). It not only blesses you if you can stand it, it allows someone to give back.

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