Sometimes the best gift is to be a gracious receiver.

Musing for:

Sometimes the best gift is to be a gracious receiver

“Enough with the holier-than-thou, Steve.”

I was stunned. All I had said was, “No, go ahead” as I gestured towards the office supply cabinet.

Reflecting later that afternoon, I started to see where my coworker’s response came from. I realized that at work I had always tried to be the giver.

No, not just at work. In life.

And no, not just “tried to be.” More like “insisted” sometimes.

Giving felt good. Jesus said “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I believed that, and I wanted that blessing. If I were honest, I’d have to admit that I liked the hint of superiority being the one who has, giving to one who has not.

And I was a lousy receiver. I had made a habit of refusing what others tried to give me.

I realized that afternoon that with that habit I had robbed others of the blessing that comes from giving.

And I became “holier than thou” to my coworker, maybe others.

But now, from time to time, I’ll see that someone truly wants to give me something. That they’re not just being polite and expecting me to decline their offer.

I’m learning to pause sometimes and say, “You know what? I’d like that. Thank you!”

And their eyes light up. Sometimes they even tear up.

And they feel the blessing of giving to a gracious receiver.

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