In the Bible it says that, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." This statement is true. Sometimes I believe truth because I trust the source. In this case I have also experienced the blessing that comes from giving and showing tangible kindness to others. Based on the amount of giving (in various forms) towards our family in the past two to three months, I would say there are some seriously blessed people walking around. People have shown extraordinary generosity to our family in a variety of tangible ways. So, if it is truly more blessed to give than to receive then their are many blessed givers walking the planet in 2015.
Another statement that I've heard at various personal development seminars is that, "The best givers are also those that know how to receive." This statement is challenging because, in my experience, it is easier to give than to receive.
Based on the amount of receiving our family has done in the past two to three months, I would say that we are going to be some seriously extraordinary givers in the future. I humbly shed tears of gratefulness every couple days. I am beyond words. Often, the only words that I'm able to utter are simply "thank you." I am so overwhelmed by the generosity of friends, acquaintances, and even strangers from every part of the world.
Challenge for the week:
Receive what others give to you with thankfulness. Receive every gift - a hug and "I love you" from your kids, a kind word or smile from a stranger, a thoughtful email, an expression of gratitude, a gift card, a meal, an apology, or a forgiven debt - with thankfulness. Acceptance of the gift and a simple "thank you" is all that is required. Please, do not rob the giver by down-playing the gift because you don't know what to say or by refusing the gift because you are too proud. Chalk this up as the experience necessary to be a better giver in the future.
Pay it forward. See the gift as an opportunity to be mindful of others. I love how coffee-shop drive-thru windows are often places to witness this principle. One person buys your coffee and then you buy the coffee for the next person. I may not be able to pay forward a financial gift today, but if I receive well then I can pay that gift forward in another way. Perhaps it will give me more hope, joy, thankfulness, or freedom that can then be expressed in the love I show to my husband or the kindness I show to the clerk at the store.
Give generously. In a story about a poor widow, Mark 12:44 says, "All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.” It is easy, when money is tight or problems are excessive, to think we have nothing to give, but it is evident to me that giving is absolutely necessary regardless of how much we have.
Example: Joe and I have been able to go on several date nights because generous friends gave us gift cards. We have used those gift cards as opportunities to bless our waiters and waitresses. One time, last year, we were at the Olive Garden with a $50 gift card. When the bill was totaled, we had $14 remaining on the card. Honestly the service that night was not great, the young gal was tired and stressed. We left her the full $14 tip anyway. I wish I could have seen her face. It felt so good to bless her. The generosity of someone else (gift card) allowed us to be even more generous with the waitress.
I hope you will take the opportunity this week to give and receive with generosity and thankfulness.
(I’m Traci, the "Be Extraordinary!" blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)