As we get ever closer to Christmas Day, humans are thinking more and more about gifts. Because at Christmas time, they have a tradition of giving one another presents. And I usually get something too. It might be an irresistible parrot treat, or something for me to chew up and destroy.
So, Christmas is a time of giving. But what about the receiving part? How easy do we find it to accept the gifts of others? And are we even grateful that somebody’s thought of us?.........
A wife once decided to cook her husband a tasty meal. She slaved for three hours in her kitchen, trying out a new recipe, while her husband was out, socialising with his friends. And he failed to return home at the time they’d agreed. So, feeling frustrated, she rang him and said that if he wasn’t back in ten minutes, she’d give the entire meal to their pet dog. Well, within three minutes flat, and totally breathless, the man sprinted in through the front door asking whether their dog was still ok …..
But gratitude is only half of the story. Because so many humans feel uncomfortable about accepting a special gift or an act of kindness from somebody else. And so often it’s because they want to be independent or self-sufficient. They want to be strong enough to exist without the help and support of others. A bit like the action heroes in many Hollywood blockbusters. Rambo, Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest. But having this mindset is denying the reality of Life. Because all humans, like all creation, are ultimately vulnerable, fragile and needy. And perhaps no more so than when they’re confronting death.
The truth is that to survive, to grow and to prosper, we all have to learn how to RECEIVE as well as to give. So many humans are obsessed with hiding their inner frailties, and so often, that’s down to pride. It’s only when we learn to have some humility that we can begin to get rid of this façade, and start to accept the gifts of others, -including God, -who want nothing more than to help us.
There’s an old human saying that’s “It’s better to give than to receive.” But that’s wrong. Because BOTH are equally important. For until we lean to receive, we can never appreciate the gift of Jesus. True love GIVES while humility RECEIVES. Both are a part of the essence of Jesus…..
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life…”