“It is Better to Receive”

                 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”                (Acts 20:35)

                These words of Jesus spoken through the apostle Paul are faithful and true. This is God’s message to a wicked, selfish and evil world. There are more blessings for the givers than for those who receive.

                Our God is a giver and the more He gives the more glory He receives. The same is true for us when we follow his example in giving. The more we give with gladness and without expectations, the more blessings we receive. The giver becomes a Receiver and the Receiver keeps on giving.

                On the other hand, it is much better to receive than to give. When it comes to blessing, honors and praises we must always strive to be on the giving side, but in regards to suffering and offenses we must join the ranks of the receivers.

                I do not enjoy or pray for suffering, but I rather suffer than to make others suffer because of my sinful words or actions. I despise to be disrespected or offended by anyone, but I never want to be the offending party.

                In the Corinthian church there were many divisions and conflicts among brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of those conflicts were so big that Christians were suing other believers and taking them to court (1 Corinthians 6:1-5). Appalled by this unchristian and unbiblical behavior, the apostle Paul told them:

                Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?” (1 Corinthians 6:7)

                The apostle Peter, whose violent temper had led him into trouble in the past and who once cut Malchus’ ear in an attempt to defend Jesus, spoke these words:

                “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;  not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9)

                There are blessings for the Receivers of insults, offenses and sufferings. There is joy amid the trials (James 1:2, 3) for those that suffer in Christ, and there is victory for those that relinquish their “right” to avenge themselves (Romans 12:17-21). Finally there is a great glory for the Receivers:

                “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.(Proverbs 19:11)

                A. G.

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