“Will this be together or separate?”
<Insert cricket sounds here.>
Ahh, can’t beat that wonderful awkward moment at a restaurant or cash register as that fateful question hangs in the air.
We’ve probably all been there– dining with a friend, co-worker, or acquaintance, and then the awkwardness of that question throws us off. “Crud, we didn’t talk about this beforehand. I don’t have the cash to cover us both unless I have to, but I don’t want them to pay for me either.”
I personally don’t really ever want to be the person to break the silence and answer that question, unless I had planned to pay for them in advance… I mean, I don’t want to make them feel awkward by stepping on their toes, and I sure don’t wanna look like a self-serving person by saying “Separate” too quickly.
I’ve seen many-a dinners turn into a duel for the check. Half-hearted arguments about who is going to pick up the tab can really throw off the vibe of a great experience. There’s a super fine line between being a self-serving heifer, a mooch and an ungrateful recipient.
But sometimes, we need to suck it up and let the other party treat us, especially when they insist.
Now, don’t get me wrong– there is a HUGE and important place for generosity. I mean shoot, a big premise of this entire ministry is based on our Factor of 7 experiences when we share God’s love through being generous.
But occasionally, we need to let go of our pride and simply be a gracious recipient.
In today’s culture, many people (aka especially women) refuse to receive… well, anything. A gift from a friend? We have the awkward response of “Oh well, you didn’t have to do that” all while thinking “Now I should to do something for them in return.” Sometime tells you that your hair looks super cute? “Yeah, well my face is broken out/pants don’t fit/blah blah blah.”
What is our deal with not being able to simply be a gracious recipient??
I’ve had a crash course with this lesson over the last week. My sweet and wonderful Mother-In-Love Lex was here from South Dakota. And she treated me to several meals out on the town, a wonderful manicure and pedicure, and a few other blessed moments… Early on, I felt guilty for all of the sweet things she was doing for me. Then suddenly, I heard God speak into my heart:
“Do not be ungracious, daughter. This woman loves you and wants to spend a few days blessing you for what you have done as a wife of her son and a daughter of Mine. Be gracious and accept what she is offering you. Her motives are pure and it is from my love that she gives to you.”
Gulp. Ok. Heard ya, Jesus.
So today’s simple (yet semi-profoundish) challenge: When someone extends to us a gift of love, a kind gesture or a sweet compliment… Instead of making excuses… Be a gracious recipient and JUST. SAY. THANK YOU.
This also applies to our relationship with Christ. God has given us SO many gifts, and the last thing I want to be known as is a girl who won’t receive it. His grace? Thank you, Jesus. The gorgeous sunrise. I appreciate that God– thank you. A moment of peace and quiet in a normally chaotic house? Lord, thank you, this means so much to me.
Do you struggle with receiving gifts in your life, whether from people or the Lord? What is so hard about it? How does it feel when you simply smile and say THANK YOU? Share you ideas and comments below!
Open your hands and receive what He has to offer. Take it all in, knowing there are no strings attached. God is a gracious gift-giver– so let’s be gracious recipients in return.
Graciously receiving it all,
“So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives.” ~1 Peter 1:13 (MSG)