“Blessed are those who give without remembering. And blessed are those who take without forgetting.”
Two blessed ideas for relationships are set forth above. This is because relationships are all about transactions. And in transactions we give and take. In functional relationships, we cannot be so generous as to only give. And we cannot be so selfish as only to take. We need to do both. We need to allow others the same privilege. And we need to know when and how to do them both well.
All of our earthly relationships are built upon the same model as our relationship with God—they are transactional and, potentially, with love, transformational.
The Blessedness Of Giving
The giving of gifts is the gift of many. The test is, do we remember? Are there strings attached to our gifts? When conditions come with the things we give there is no love, for love is pure and unhindered by self-absorbed goals.
The giving of gifts—or of anything really—makes available to the relationship the favour of potential transformation. Such things transcend spoken communication. These transactions were not sought by the receiver. The receiver is pleasantly surprised.
And so the surprise element in the giving and receiving of something takes the rapport of the relationship into a special realm. Intimacy and trust are nurtured furthermore.
It is wonderful to be the giver. But it can be wonderful to be the receiver, too.
The Blessedness Of Receiving
God shows us, by the gifts he gives us, that it is not only appropriate to receive, but necessary too. And just as it was so pleasant to give to others, our love is probably more tested by how we receive gifts. Do we allow people to give us things? Or is it the case we prefer to do the giving? In the extreme, people cannot allow themselves to receive gifts. It’s a pity because transactions of love are stunted for growth when people won’t receive.
It is a blessing to the giver to receive the gift. Simply by accepting someone’s gift we accept their love.
Even more so, as the quote mentions, it is both fair and blessed to recall the favour. And perhaps this is why some people don’t like receiving gifts; they feel they owe the other person something in return; guilt may be the driver.
Can we receive a compliment by giving an earnest “thank you”? When people compliment us they are giving us a gift. Can we love them back by receiving their love?
In transactions of giving and receiving, by our love expressed, we, and those we relate with, stand to be transformed. When love drives the giving and receiving wonderful transformations take place.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.