Tuesday, August 30, 2011
"To give is better than to receive."
It's true- the giving heart is hugely important to cultivate in yourself and the youngsters around you, whether you're teaching in a classroom, Sunday School, or raising children. But without receiving, no giving can occur.
A friend once taught me that being a gracious receiver is just as important as being a generous giver (in a perfect world, we live out a balanced combination of the two.) When you have a way to bless someone by giving them time, money, or a material object, you feel blessed for having given it. It makes your heart feel good. But if you won't let them give it, you rob them of those blessings. That's not fair to them.
Sometimes, it's hard to let someone bless you because it doesn't always feel good to receive help or to let someone sacrifice something for you- no matter how big or small. But it feels SO GOOD to help someone out. It's ironic, then, that without someone willing to receive, you don't get to give.
I was reminded of this while watching an episode of Sports Night (the Aaron Sorkin show that lasted only about 2 seasons) with Jerr last night. In the show, Dan crosses paths with a homeless man and even though he's really hungry and has been excited to eat the half of a turkey sandwich that he had left in his fridge, he gives it to the guy. The homeless man, realizing that Dan was on his way to eat the sandwich for himself, takes the sandwich and cuts it in half, giving half of his half to Dan. Dan looks at the guy, takes the sandwich, and they both sit down to eat their quarter of a sandwich together.
And I just thought while watching it, "But homeless guy, you need that sandwich more than Dan! I would have said "No thanks! You eat it! I can get more later." But that would have robbed the guy of the dignity and the opportunity to share something- and he probably doesn't have the opportunity to bless people with much under normal circumstances. How important for Dan to have taken the sandwich.
It just got me thinking... what a privilege it is to enable someone to give you something so that their heart can experience the joy and happiness that accompanies the action. In a way, that's giving, too.