Acts 20:35 (NLT)
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Years ago, David and I read the book “The Five Love Languages”. If you’ve never read it, you should. It opens up a whole new door on why you feel loved sometimes and why you don’t…why others around you feel loved by you and why they sometimes don’t.
In case you’re wondering, the five love languages are:
– Words of affirmation
– Acts of service
– Receiving gifts
– Quality time
– Physical touch
No surprise (well, to me anyways) David’s love language turned out to be 1) Physical touch, a close second being 2) Quality time
No surprise (to me for sure), my love language is 1) Receiving gifts, a close second being 2) Words of affirmation.
Can you see a conflict just waiting to happen? It did happen… We operated on what we THOUGHT made the other person feel loved, and it was rarely right. In fact, more often than not, we tend to love others how WE like to be loved.
Here’s a big for instance: I LOVE to give gifts to people. I give gifts for no stinkin’ reason at all…just because. I’m not bragging or tooting the proverbial horn here…I’m just being honest. It brings me such a joy and happiness to make something or buy something very unique and personal for someone else.
For years, I did this, and I just assumed (expected) everyone else would put the same effort into gift-giving that I did. Specifically, the hubs. So when he either DIDN’T give me something or didn’t put as much thought into it as I would have, it hurt my feelers (sp. intentional). He would want to spend “quality time with me” to show his love…because that’s HIS love language. I’m sure he thought that would make me feel loved. Yes…but also no.
On the flip side, I would give David gifts that I thought, “Man, he’s gonna LOVE this…it’s so PERFECT…and he’s gonna LOVE ME for giving it to him.” And…yes, he liked the gift…appreciated it…but it didn’t necessarily make him feel super loved…because that’s not his love language. That’s MY love language.
In recent years (because I’ve grown up and gotten a fat clue lol) I have learned/chosen to love David in the way that makes him feel completely and unarguably loved (I get it right most of the time.) I still give him crazy fun gifts that are just right for him, and you know what?? He appreciates them more now, because now, I’m also loving him how he needs to be loved. Literally, just going on a drive in the mountains and holding hands is enough to fill up his love meter. And because he gets loved the right way, he, in turn, loves me the right way. In recent years, he has given me the most amazing, personal gifts…bought or made with such care and understanding of my personality and…yes, my love language.
So why am I telling you all this??
For a long time after I learned my love language, I felt guilty. GUILTY! How could receiving not be a selfish, self-centered thing for someone. I loved that it was one of the love languages, but I kinda wanted like “Acts of Service” or “Quality Time”…cuz those don’t necessarily involve money…just some time. And that’s better, right? No…it’s not.
Receiving is a good thing. Receiving is a very good thing. Especially receiving very good things. There’s nothing to be ashamed of for liking receiving gifts.
Don’t believe me? Look again at the verse at the beginning of this blog. Jesus himself said, “You’re far happier giving than receiving.” (msg)
Does that say you’re not happy when you receive? That it’s not blessed…not good…not fun to receive? NO…it did not.
Here’s LeeAnn’s paraphrase:
“You know how awesome it feels to get some money from a friend to help out on a trip you’re taking? You know how amazing you feel when someone takes a lot of time picking out just the right birthday gift for you, something that makes you smile ear to ear? You know how special you feel when someone leaves a little box in your car or on your desk, just because they were thinking of you? You know how blessed you feel when ends are just not meeting, and someone steps in and anonymously pays your electric bill for you? It IS awesome, amazing, special and blessed. And it’s OK to feel awesome, amazing, special and blessed. BUT…it’s even MORE awesome, amazing, special and blessed to GIVE. And that’s a lot!!!”
So this Christmas season, enjoy the receiving and the getting and the blessings. It’s totally ok. If you didn’t receive, there’d be no reason for someone to give. It’s a symbiotic relationship, of sorts…givers and receivers need each other to make it work.
And this Christmas season, GIVE! Give generously. Give anonymously. Give promiscuously. Because you will be even more blessed. Jesus said so!