April 21

APRIL 21
by Steve Cameron
“It is Better to Give Than to Receive?”
 
When I was young, Mom used to always say “God helps those who help themselves”. I was later surprised to discover that this phrase is not in the Bible. Several years ago I started thinking about the phrase “It is better to give than to receive”. Upon checking my Bible app I found that it actually is in the Bible and was in fact spoken by Jesus himself:

Acts 20:35 NIV
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
 
In our culture and especially in the Silicon Valley we put a premium on our independence, capabilities and self-sufficiency. So when someone asks if they can help us, give something to us or do something for us the instinctive answer is normally “No”. But if you think of it, there can be no giving without receiving and by declining the offer you are actually robbing the person of the opportunity to give!  Yes it must be true that it is better to give than to receive, but that does not make the act of receiving any less important. In fact the importance of receiving was clear on that Maundy Thursday when Jesus was washing his disciples’ feet. Peter could not resist his instinct to say “No”:
 
John 13:8 NIV 
 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

 
We are in very uncertain times now with many people hurting and feeling vulnerable perhaps for the first time in their life. So I would suggest that whenever someone asks if they can do something for you that you pause a second, fight off the instinct to say “No” and accept the offer. Do this in all things big and small and I think you will find that you are not only giving the gift of giving but it will also benefit fellowship and relationship in your life and community. 

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