Giving and Receiving

Author: Carolyn Gard


“Love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12.

Although the recent snow has made everything beautiful with a coat of white, shoveling has gotten awfully old. My informal poll of friends tells me that we’re all sick of snow–it belongs in the mountains. Fortunately, I have a neighbor with a snowblower, but that still leaves the driveway and the apron for me. As I was out working on this, two men walking a dog came by and offered to finish it for me. I was flattered, but I declined their offer. After they left, I had second thoughts. The shoveling was hard work, and they could have done it in half the time.

I had another regret. We all know the saying, ‘It is better to give than to receive.’ However, in order to give, there must be a recipient; by saying no to the shoveling offer, I had deprived the men of giving a gift. Often we tell people not to give us presents for a birthday or Christmas, but by doing this we make them only receivers. and not givers.

The ultimate gift, I suppose, is God’s love. We are the recipients of this love. It doesn’t matter what we have done or not done, or how we have acted. God’s love is there for us to receive. That’s not the end of it, though. God gives us love expecting us to pass that love on to others, regardless of who they are or what they have done. Judgment is up to God. Hard as it may be (especially in an election year) we are better people for passing that love along. And whether we succeed or fail, God’s love keeps pouring down.

Lord, help us to know the meaning of your love, and let us carry that on throughout our days.

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