PC-USA 1997-07-18 - It's More Blessed to Give, but It's Okay to Receive, Too

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I know that we hear a lot about how we should help other people, make sacrifices, etc. And that is true. But there is a flip side that we don't hear much about in sermons, or at least I have not. It is okay to receive. Some of us find it more natural to give than to receive, but there needs to be a balance. We are quick to reach out to someone hurting, but we don't often bare our souls ourselves. Perhaps it's because when we were brought up, we were taught to keep a stiff upper lip. Perhaps we are proud and want to be self-sufficient. Perhaps we have a hard time trusting. Perhaps we feel that people won't like us if we open up and show the real us. Whatever the reason, God didn't intend us to be that way. Besides, it actually takes more strength, I believe, to be vulnerable. We all need support sometimes. We all need to receive.

Gal 6:2 (NIV) Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

If everyone refused to accept help, there would be no need for giving. And actually, we do deprive others of ministry opportunities if we refuse their assistance. We are not meant to do 100% giving, and never receive from people. We all need care, nurturance, replenishment sometimes. Even Christ Himself was at times on the receiving end. Mat 27:55 (NIV) Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs.

And the Apostle Paul exhorted believers to emotionally strengthen each other: 1 Th 5:11 (NIV) Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. He himself had his own inner circle of friends whom he turned to for encouragement, and we all need that. We can't help everyone, nor need we receive help from everyone. But we all need a little circle that we can turn to when we ourselves aren't so strong. And once we receive replenishment, it outflows to others who need us!

Dear Lord, please help us to achieve the balance that You want for us, to give and take, in ministry and service. And may You be glorified in it all. In Jesus' name, amen.