At this time of year we have fun going shopping to choose the perfect gift for someone. Wrapping it up in festive paper and putting it under the Christmas tree, ready for the big day.
A lot of emphasis is put on giving, and indeed it is better to give than it is to receive. However I find I often suffer from ‘receiver’s guilt’ which is amplified around Christmas time – if someone gives me an unexpected gift I feel some how socially obligated to give a gift in return. Sometimes I am able, other times I am not and the guilt increases. Have you ever had that awkward feeling when someone gives you a gift and you feel bad because you can’t give them anything in return? I have.
But should this be the way we react?
Sometimes it is OK to receive without giving anything in return. In fact, sometimes the simple act of receiving the gift being given from a joyful and generous heart is the best gift you could give in return. The Bible says we are blessed when we give.
So when we refuse a gift from someone whose motives are pure and they are simply wanting to express generosity and love, we are standing in the way of them receiving that blessing.
Having said this, even though we may work on being a better receiver we should not start to expect it. We too should be looking to give with a generous heart. Maybe not to the same person who gave to you, but to be cheerful givers none the less.
I hope you enjoy this Christmas season and begin to learn the gift of receiving for yourself.