It’s said it’s more blessed to give than to receive,
It’s certainly the biblical mandate,
But there is also a blessing – this to conceive,
To receive the gift in ways to relate.
What a gift it is to the giver of a gift to receive the graciousness of the recipient who can enjoy receiving, not feeling guilty about receiving the gift. There is a gift to the giver in the recipient receiving something well.
It’s not a natural thing to receive something well, for we may sense the obligation to reciprocate, and worse, to do it prematurely.
When someone has genuinely and thoughtfully given us a gift there is no need to return the favour quickly. It may actually be a hindrance, relationally, stifling the sense of intimacy that is being nurtured, to want to give back.
Becoming Better Recipients
It is certainly a good indication of our comfort within ourselves to enjoy the gift and to receive it graciously, foregoing the temptation to shy away from the courage of receiving well. To receive well is not selfishness – it is a gift in its own right.
Becoming a better recipient – for God wishes us and wills us to be gracious receivers – is more about how we relate with ourselves than how we relate with the giver of the gift.
Where we compose ourselves in the moment of receipt we are able to be somewhat courageous by giving eye contact, a genuine gesture of surprise and joy, and a sincere ‘thank you’.
Once the gift is received with unabashed delight, the giver of the gift has received what they may have subconsciously expected to receive. Their giving of a gift has an inherent reward in it; God blesses us in the giving of gifts.
The key of returning the favour is waiting for sufficient time to pass that the return gift might be given out of a good opportunity, be given creatively, and elicit an element of surprise itself.
Being a diligent steward of joy is about being relational, acknowledging the flow of giving and receiving, and being in tune with the fact that even in receiving we give a gift.
It isn’t just more blessed to give than to receive. It is also blessed – a blessing for the giver of a gift – when we receive the gift well. Receiving gifts graciously is the doing of God’s will. Graciousness is a gift in its very own class. Who’d have thought that to receive a gift graciously might be a significant gift in itself?
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.