Wednesday, August 13, 2008

VIP (Relationship #10)

Sweet shows the difference between being a "giver" and a "receiver" in a relationship. Many times, we feel the need to give. However, we can become uncomfortable when someone wants to give to us. The biggest problem seems to be our pride.

In this weeks Christian Standard, www.unstats.un.org displays the disparity between those of us in the USA ($41,768 GDP per capita per year) compared to those in Rwanda ($234 GDP per capita per year). The Internal Revenue Service records people in upper, middle, and lower classes of the economic ladder. Even those categories have subcategories. It seems to me that whatever "bowl" you find yourself in, you are comparatively rich.

When we understand how blessed we are, our hearts prompt us to give to those less fortunate. Sweet uses the example of Lydia - a believer using the resources she had to benefit others. Instead of hording her wealth and saving for a rainy day, Lydia chose to bless those less fortunate.

On the other hand, is the "receiver" in the relationship. Many times we think of the less fortunate as handicapped, socially inept, or unable to help themselves. But is it true? Are they incapable? inept? handicapped? or even less fortunate?

I know those with very little who give so much. They choose to bless others with what little they have. Many times they are rebuffed for attempting to give - especially by those who have more.

Sweet argues that we should be givers and receivers. There are times where giving seems to come naturally. However, most of us have trouble receiving from others. And yet that's what we're called to do.

When we fail to receive, we can't meet Christ. God has always been the giver. Mankind has been the receiver. It's only when we learn to receive that we can learn to give.

Thoughts?

4 comments:

Ted M. Gossard said...

It's interesting. I know some very wealthy people who are gracious in receiving prayers and concerns for themselves in regard to health, etc., and who likewise live in that same grace in being generous to others both spontaneously and planned.

And I also know some poor people who struggle to make ends meet, who love, just love to do good for others, a passion for that. But also love it when they receive help from others- all in that same grace of God in Jesus.

Interesting and good post, Mike. Thanks.

Mike said...

Thanks for the comment Ted.

I really liked what Sweet says. "It's only when we learn to receive that we can learn to give." Many men are prideful and are slow to receive help. I'm thinking of assitance from in-laws, someone doing something for them with no strings attached, etc.

I would agree with you about exceptions to the rule. After reading through the original post, I've realized how "scattered" it was. Thanks for attempting to understand. I continue to pray for you and hope things are going well.

Anonymous said...

Do you think that maybe we get confused with what giving and receiving is? Does it always have to have to do with "something"? We find giving to be satisfying but it is much harder to receive. Is it because we really don't think we deserve? Isn't that why we have so much trouble receiving from our Father? We don't think we deserve what he provided?

So says Mike

Mike said...

Right on the head Anon/Mike. I think you're really on to something. Society teaches us you work...you get or you deserve. You don't work...you don't get or deserve. That's what's so amazing about grace. We are saved by grace (free gift) through faith (Eph 2:8-9). That's the part that most of us really have a hard time with.