27 August 2014

Giving and Receiving

Giving and receiving are more complicated then we Christians often acknowledge. In the culture I'm part of we tend to be somewhat stingy while we also really like to help others (but don't so much like needing to receive help). Neither are really great examples of generous giving or gracious receiving.

Acts 20:35 notes that it is better to give than receive, but I wonder how much receiving helps us know how to give? This past week I was reminded of  how much being given a gracious, undeserving gift makes it easier to be giving in return. I think it's because even as much as I do want to be generous, it feels somewhat foolish to be too giving - because how will I know if I don't need something? It is only when I'm given more than I need, I realize how foolish I am for worrying!

Last week I received, with the help of a friend (Thanks Sarah!), the entire contents of a kitchen for our North American house. For free. Simply because a graduate student was leaving the country and wanted to pass it on to someone else. And I was astounded and delighted and felt very blessed. To share in my joy, I took pictures of the delightful and carefully wrapped gifts.  

As I look at these gifts and anticipate filling my new kitchen with them, I cannot help but hope that I might pass on this generousity to others, as that seems the best way of saying thank-you for this generous gift from Mia/Maria. Generousity is also a way of expressing my trust that God will take care of my needs. And lastly, as Matthijs has been informing me (seeing as he's now in charge of dispersing our stuff in Amsterdam), it's simply a lot of fun to be able to help others out by giving away our stuff to them.

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