I believe that there is a time and position of the soul when it’s better to receive than to give.
Sincere pursuit of selflessness can turn into a kind altruism that is detrimental to our identity. In the effort of serving, loving and giving of ourselves, it’s so easy to get attached to the insatiable desire to please everyone and every thing. Our good intentions move us down a dangerous path of earning and striving, which is ultimately rooted in fear and not love.
Each time we bless others out of this good but tainted source, we deposit a little bit more of our worth and value in our actions.
What I’ve found to be true is that God’s love was never prompted from our actions. Instead, it is our very identity as His sons and daughters that induces this great love. It is relationship, not effort. And ultimately, it is identity — God’s identity, as the eternal source of love, reflected in us.
When Humility Is Really Pride
Ever been complimented and immediately denied the encouragement by listing a barrage of reasons why that could not possibly be true?
Ever give a compliment and get rejected like I would if I tried to dunk against an NBA player? Yeah. No fun. What’s up with that?
It’s false humility. And it can fool the best of us. Usually it’s because we don’t actually believe the compliment; either because of low self-esteem or being conditioned to reject compliments out of fear of being thought arrogant and thus unloveable.
This was me too. But I learned that the very response I thought was humility was actually pride. Giving off the aura of humility, my dejection of truth was actually a method of drawing more attention to myself. Don’t we all love it when, after rejecting encouragement, they come back with an extra heaping of it to help convince us?
I’ve found that true humility is grounded in God-centered identity and it allows us to accept compliments with a simple, “Thank you!”
Try it sometime. You’ll be amazed and what kinds of emotions and thoughts bubble up to the surface of your mind when you do; and once you get over the awkwardness of simply accepting encouragement, you can bring it before the Lord and let God heal you of the lies you believe about yourself.
Learning To Receive
I believe that the reason we’ve developed this “compliment-shield” is that, at our core, we don’t believe we are lovable. We believe we must earn love and that we couldn’t possibly be worthy of love simply because of who we are.
But this is what Jesus came to earth to prove to us:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
God’s desire has always been for unity with His people. You were worthy of His love and sacrifice, even before you breathed your first breath.
Just try to say that: “I am worthy of love. God made me worthy of love.”
It’s not sin. It’s not arrogance. It’s not pride. It’s truth. And it brings God glory.
Let God love you.
When we acknowledge God’s love for us and our worthiness of God’s love, simply on the basis of being His, He is glorified. So stop fearing love. Step into it. When you do, you will experience the completeness that He intended for His children and you will understand that there is a time when it is better to receive than to give.