Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All Things Work Together For Good #2: Giving vs Receiving = Humbleness

Having written the post about our past year and sharing with readers the financial gifts we have recieved...well, at first it made me uncomfortable.
It is hard for Joel and I to be on the receiving end of gifts of money when we are in need. We have always found great joy in helping others. We have also always taken care of ourselves and been able to do so whether making $500 a month in 1978 as an intern pastor with 4 kids, or making the good salary Joel has now. I used to take on jobs wherever we lived...from day care provider, church janitor, clerk in a hardware store, interpreter for the deaf...theraputic foster care provider. What was needed to help out...until I got to sick to work. We have always paid back any loans with interest and we have prided ourselves on being able to help others. We planned on digging our heels in and doing the same with our financial burdens this past year ~ which all came about due to my health and the risk we took to move on to a new congregation. This time around, we were the receivers...and I think we maybe need to go back to that word...
p r i d e. Pride kept us from wanting to accept the gifts that were offered. Even though some of our situation was not in our control and even though Joel elt God guided him to take a new calling....our thinking, like even some of our family's, was ~ you made the choices now you live with the consequences....
These gifts have taught us about receiving and made us more sensitive to how others feel when we offer them gifts of financial help. It has also humbled us. Much of the past year and a half has humbled us ~ and maybe that is God's purpose here. To use our circumstances to humble us and to teach us. My oldest son said something profound to me over Thanksgiving. He said, "When I used to give to others I would feel so happy and then also feel selfish for how happy it felt to give! (it does feel GREAT to give) Then I realized that the reason I feel good inside when I give is because it pleases my Heavenly Father."
So simple and yet so profound. So, the reason I share our story is because I feel like in an unusual way, our accepting of these gifts also pleased our Heavenly Father. It pleased our Heavenly Father to have others want to give, and for us to put aside our pride and accept these gifts. I feel like our story needs to be shared so others can find encouragement and understanding on the issue of giving vs receiving. I have learned that God's plans for us usually involve making us better people. It has touched me deeply to receive so many blessings from God. I hope my story touches you in some way too.
I am sure that would also please my heavenly Father.

4 comments:

BoufMom9 said...

Oh wow! I think I could've written something very similarly. We have recently been on the receiving end of many gifts and it made us very uncomfotable a first, but my husband and I have finally come to realize that God put these gifts at our feet and we need to humbly accept them.
Your writing is just beautiful and it is very amazing how much we do have in common. I am so glad you stopped by my blog and let a comment :) Very nice to meet you .
Blessings!
~Debi~

BoufMom9 said...

Thank you for your understanding and story to share today. It meant the world to me and makes me feel so much better to not fel so alone...

Renee said...

You are welcome and I am so glad my story helped in some way. Thank you for coming by my blog ~ Many thanks for your kind commments.
Gentle hugs
Renee

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