Last night, we discussed the Romans 16 women...My RollCall of Women Workers for the Lord. I've often heard people say that when they get to heaven, they want the Lord to proclaim, "Job well done." over their life. I feel much the same.
There is so much to be done, and so little time. As you know, I am all about balance, Ladies; we've got to keep our arms strong for the tasks ahead of us.
Is it all about the tasks? Must we continue to add things to our day in order for us to feel purposeful?
I want to remind you of two principles we've already learned about:
balance and help.We must not think of our "busy-ness" as an indicator our giving or charity. Its really not. If anything, its an indication of our inability to find balance and to accept help. We will have busy periods of our lives. But, our life should not be one made of busy-ness.
Its the latter portion of this statement that I want to comment on today. I want to talk about us being available to and asking for help.
Is it l possible that because we are so open to being givers, (and I know after last night's podcast, we are all givers!) that we are not available to being receivers? Last night I spoke of Jesus being a receiver. Jesus knew intrinsically that He would receive. He is inspiring us to be givers; He is a giver. So, He knew there would be those who would open their hands out to Him.
Let's look at the verses recorded in the scene were Mary from Bethany anoints Jesus with expensive oil from her alabaster jar. I want to look at it in Mark 14 and Matthew 26, although this story takes place in Luke, as well. The reason I want to you to see it here is his response to the criticism about how she should have used her money to give to the poor. He responds
"Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."He responded to the criticism by admonishing them that life will end, and there will always be the poor. That is a sad commentary, as much as it is beautiful. As receivers do we realize that our life is being honored, just as the woman with the Alabaster Jar was honoring Jesus? No matter how big or small the gift, our life is being honored when we are blessed with a gift.
How can we be a cheerful receiver?
This issue is really for my sisters--and me--who struggle with being either an enabler, or a control freak. This is our challenge for the week. Because sometimes, we allow our "giving nature" to be the very thing that affords us the control we are secretly seeking. If each of us are modeling ourselves to be wonderful givers, than conversely we should each at some point in time be a receiver.
- We might be a receiver of a compliment; how do you respond? Do you push it off or explain how it could not possibly be true?
- We might be a receiver of a monetary gift; how do you respond? Do you give it back, or feel guilty for accepting it?
- We might be a receiver of an award; how do you respond? Do you shy away from it?
- We might be a receiver of something we need; how do you respond? Are you shamed or embarrassed?
So, at least for today, when someone blesses you with their giving spirit...receive it. Challenge yourself to receive it.
I don't know about you all...but this one will be one of my biggest challenges yet!