The Gift of Giving and Receiving
Are you a giver or receiver?
“Although some people think that life is a battle, it is actually a game of giving and receiving.”Florence Scovel Shinn
Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin, the two go together and one cannot occur without the other. A giver must have a receiver in order to give and a receiver must have a giver in order to receive. The intention behind any of this actions (giving and receiving) ultimately makes the difference.
A giver is someone who supports and cares for others; trying to help and meet the need of another with no strings attached.
A receiver is someone who always wants to collect from others and does not think of any way of giving back.
A matcher is someone who gives with hopes of receiving back or someone who receives and immediately believes he owes the giver in future.
Identifying why you are giving is the first step in genuinely giving.
Are you giving because you truly want to help with no strings attached. Is your spirit prompting you to help someone in need and there is a relief after you have helped the person. If you do not get a thank you after giving will you be bothered? If the receiver never knows you were the giver are you okay with this?
“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.”Jim Rohn
Giving to receive:
Giving because you expect something in return from your receiver is the attitude some people have. “Nothing goes for nothing” is a very common saying and further strengthens the belief that when you receive you have to give back always. Are you in this category and what made you form this opinion?
Giving to gain:
The last category of people are those that give in order to curry favors from the receiver. It’s more like bribery, I will do this for you so you can in turn do something for me. It is sometimes unspoken but the intended action is implied and communicated to the receiver.
“Don’t give to get. Give to inspire others to give.”Sion Sinek
There are various ways to give;
- Monetary gifts: supporting someone in financial need is one of the most recognized ways of giving in the world today. It include supporting a foundation, family, friends as well as the less privileged.
- Meeting a need: We all have needs in our life, there are those of us that see a need in others and will think of ways to meet that need. It can be as helping someone deal with anger, raising a family, dealing with the death of a loved one or battling with a health challenge.
- Complimenting someone: human beings naturally love to be appreciated, a kind word, a smile, a word of appreciation can make all the difference in the life of someone struggling with self-esteem or challenging times.
- Being Kind: Kindness can melt even the wicked of hearts, but in our world today being kind is not as common as it used to be. Lack of trust has aided in people being suspicious and unwillingly building a barricade against the world in their hearts. Being kind is so important and can open doors, form friendships and heal our hearts.
“Being kind is giving even when it seems like you have nothing to give.”RAKtwist
- Prayer: when last time did you pray for a friend or family member especially when you are aware they are facing some challenges. They might never know but God knows and will also raise people to pray for you through a challenging time.
- Acts of Service: helping others who cannot perform some activities due to time constraint, health challenges, age, etc. is another great way of giving. It even attracts more blessings when you know you can’t receive anything in return.
- Physical touch: we sometimes do not know the impact a hug or a pat on the back can have on an individual’s self-confidence. Human beings crave to be encouraged and we must do that by words, actions or through physical touch.
Receiving with Gratitude
For a lot of people receiving can be very uncomfortable, I have personally struggled with receiving all my life and I am just learning to receive without feeling guilty or thinking I owe the giver. Truth is we must learn to receive as freely as we give with a sense of gratitude at whatever gift we are showered with.
“There is generosity in giving, but gentleness in receiving.”Freya Stark
We receive from God freely, so much that we forget to appreciate a lot of his free gifts. Some of the things we receive freely are;
- The air we breathe daily
- Daily sunlight and the beautiful stars in the sky
- Nature all around us
- The water we drink
What are the things we receive daily from others?
- Attention/Quality time: are we truly thankful when a friend, family member takes out time to visit us, or picks up the phone and calls to check up. Life is so busy that whenever someone checks up on us we should appreciate the gesture.
- Compliments/Words of affirmation/Encouraging words: When you put effort into looking good and someone notices or acknowledges that effort, are you willing to receive the complement. How well do you receive encouragement from others? ,
- Physical touch (A hug, a pat at the back): are you repulsed when people try to encourage you by patting you at the back or when someone hugs you to show they missed you. Do you hate being touched physically and why do you get repulsed by this?
- Gifts: Putting careful thought into a gift before getting it can make all the difference. Buying a gift that a friend really needs or a gift that a family member has always wanted but can’t afford, makes the gift extra special.
- Financial support: A lot of times life’s throws financial challenges at us that we are not prepared for. At such time we might need to reach out to friends and family to help us out especially if we believe they are capable.
- Acts of service: accepting help when you feel overwhelmed or delegating duties to others is another vital way of receiving.
“You cannot give to people what they are incapable of receiving.”Agatha Christie
The principle of sowing and reaping applies beautifully to giving and receiving. When we sow a seed we believe it will bear fruit, but not all seeds germinate. Some seeds grow to become very big trees while some never, some trees may never bear fruit but may provide shelter for someone on a rainy day and the cycle keeps moving.
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease.”Genesis 8:22 King James Version
The Bible says it is more “blessed to give than to receive”; this means that both giving and receiving brings different degrees of blessings. I would love to emphasize that giving is a privilege because for you to give something you must have more than the other person. Receiving is also a rare privilege because someone is meeting a present need in your life. A lot of people have needs but no one to meet their needs; so when next someone gives to you receive with gratitude.
“I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus that He said “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”Acts 20:35 New King James Version
Today is a brand new day full of opportunities to be a blessing, “What can you give to others freely?” As you give, observe “What gifts you get back in return?” It is Up to You…..
Feel free to share your responses below!