A few years ago I was having lunch with a friend and she complimented my shirt – or coat or purse or something. My first reaction was to downplay the item.
“Thanks! I got it on clearance.”
Now this shirt (let’s assume it was my shirt) was facier and name-brandier than what I usually buy for myself. Her compliment, though appreciated, was jarring. I felt like I need to justify my purchase and make sure she knew I wasn’t selfish and wasteful.
My friend looked me square in the eye, and with words full of love she said “You don’t have to do that. It’s ok to have nice things. Just say thank you.”
I bring this up because yesterdayI was talking with another friend who said she’s working on “receiving.” Gifts make her uncomfortable because she feels like she needs to reciprocate.
It was the fact that she was specifically trying to get better at receiving that got my gears turning.
God gives us so much. His gifts are un-countable. I’m sitting here trying to discern if I feel the need to justify those gifts, or if I have a hint of guilt – or even if I decline those gifts because I think I don’t deserve them.
On the other side of this – I’ve never given a gift that I wanted the recipient to feel guilty about receiving. I’ve never given a gift where I thought the recipient was unworthy or didn’t deserve what I was trying to give them. We give gift to put a smile on a friend’s face and to show them how much we love them.
So is receiving harder than giving? Are we bringing our own baggage to this?
In reading up on Divine Mercy, I read that in St. Faustina’s visions that Jesus pours more mercies upon us than we can even take in. For those with hardened hearts, those mercies simply roll off those hearts like water off a stone – nothing sinking in.
Is it possible that we miss out on God’s gifts because we don’t feel worthy?
“Hey Megan – that’s some nice Faith you have there.. So inspiring!”
“Oh it’s nothing. It was a white elephant gift from God.”
hmmm… that doensn’t sound right.
“Oh wow, Megan. Good work on the music ministry last week.”
Yeah- that sounds better.
Open my heart, Lord. Help me to love like you.
Love to all,
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