Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Humility of The Receiving End

When we first moved to our community twenty years ago, we weren't exactly rolling in the dough. We had one baby, one income and one car, but two student loans to pay off, a house payment and new expenses that come with a child. Money was tight, VERY tight. I often laid awake at night wondering how God would meet all our needs when the income and expense columns didn't jive.

Enter the body of Christ, who provided our needs in unconventional ways. One family gave us a side of beef. Another gave clothes. One couple even gave us a car! While I was grateful for these kind gestures, part of me whined to God.

"Why couldn't you just give us the money we need instead of these gifts? I don't like feeling indebted to people. I don't know how to handle that."

But God, in His incredible good form, was teaching us humility. You have to swallow a lot of pride to accept extravagant gifts from people and He gave us ample opportunities. When I finally succumbed to His plan, the gifts touch me deeply. I found myself saying, "God, why me? Why give us all this?" I experienced first hand the essence of today's quote.

“Nothing humbles and breaks the heart of a sinner like mercy and love. Souls that converse much with sin and wrath, may be much terrified; but souls that converse much with grace and mercy, will be much humbled.”

~ Thomas Brooks (1608 – 1680) ~

We were much humbled, and at the same time completely overwhelmed by His love for us. Not only did God provide for our needs, but because they came through other people, He established relationships to enhance our lives forever.

Isn't He brilliant?!

If you find yourself on the receiving end of a lavish gift, accept it as His offering of grace and mercy. Give the gifter a blessing by embracing their compassion with great joy and thanks. Humility is precious in the eyes of God.

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

Psalm 25:9

Welcome humility into your life and see how He uses it to bring you closer to Him. His way leads to righteousness. Our own ways often lead us astray.

Which will you choose? The humble path which brings grace and mercy or the independent one that terrifies?

Join our host Twinkle Mom for more impressions of this quote at Sunflower Faith.


Miriam Pauline said...

What an amazing example and reminder that it is sometimes difficult to accept grace as well as give it. But the rewards are often eternal. Thanks for sharing your story!

Karen said...

Great illustration. I'm glad I have power this week, last week we lost our electricity to a snow storm for two days. Its good to be back in the mix! Thanks for sharing today.

Marsha Young said...

Tami -

Excellent post on the "why" of being on the receiving end of generosity.

I have somestimes asked God, when feeling embarrassed by my own good health and resources, "why me?" when others are so lacking in both.

All we can do is try to be faithful to be as kind and generous with others, and those in the past have been with us.

Good post. ...Marsha

Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

Beautiful and touching post about the why of being on the receiving end...I know I feel awkward when He blesses us with small blessings and its hard to feel like, "why" did we deserve this...and yet..sometimes, it's not because we do deserve it, but because He just loves us that much He wants us to have those blessings as a reminder of Him...

What a gift that was given to you and your family and your words were so touching!! Thank you so much for participating and what a great take on the quote!! Love it!

Bonnie W said...

Being in ministry, I've often been and still am on the receiving end of things. It is hard, expecially when I'd rather be the giver!
Thanks for giving us these wonderful toughts on humility today Tami!

Loni said...

Thank you so much for sharing this week. Yes, being on the receiving end can also be wearing and humiliating, when I so want to be on the giving end MORE than I am receiving! Thank you for your encouragements!

I was not able to write today . . . sick kids . . . little sleep!

Cindy said...

My first thought was "Holy cow! A side of beef!" That made me giggle deep down late last night after I posted.
Tami, I know that you probably gave grace and didn't realize it. I believe you still are daily. It's the gifts intangible that sing loudest, I think. I know you sing to me quite often. Much gratitude.
All thru Him,

Christine said...

This is so true! God is so creative in developing our character. Sometimes a little too creative. :)