SHINE: Receive by the Spirit — Sometimes it is better to Receive

SHINE! … By the Spirit™ with Tonya M. Evans

Sometimes It Is Better to Receive

© 2011 Tonya M. Evans

June 29, 2011

Yes, I know, I know.  Jesus said “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) And yes, this teaching is a critical aspect of spiritual maturity. In fact, in this biblical passage Paul was advising the Ephesian elders on the spiritual principles of service and generosity, especially in dealing with and ministering to those less fortunate.

Paul’s focus on assisting those who are not in a position to help themselves is easily understood in the context of materials things. But our understanding should not be limited to the material. Giving can also be a powerful spiritual practice when one who is more edified spiritually is able to share their strength with those who feel unable to carry the burdens we all endure in life. In those “going through” moments, sometimes it is better to RECEIVE.

A Course in Miracles describes the principle in the context of healing and expressions of love:

“Miracles are healing because they supply a lack; they are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less. Miracles are a kind of exchange. Like all expressions of love, which are always miraculous in the true sense, the exchange reverses physical laws. They bring more love both to the giver and the receiver.” [Ch. 1, I: 8-9]

Therefore, if someone is giving support to others with an open heart — be it material, emotional or spiritual — that necessarily means that someone is on the receiving end accepting with open arms what is being offered to them.

Unfortunately, there are instances when those in the greatest need allow a prideful spirit to block their blessings or simply fail to recognize support when it shows up because they are looking for a specific blessing, outcome or way out. And sometimes people are too wounded or broken with pain to muster the energy to ask for a helping hand or don’t even know what to ask for!

But the truth is, God created us to be communal people, to bear each others burdens and through love and empathy, to restore balance, stasis and wholeness here on earth. When one person gives, another necessarily receives; it’s all divine order in a loving exchange.

Generosity is a process that requires the participation of both the giver and the recipient. So there are times when we are not in a position or expected to give, but in need of receiving divine love, support and encouragement from other living beings who have an abundance from which to give. The giver can be a person. But oftentimes the giver manifests as a blooming flower, a shade tree, a cool breeze, crashing waves, a ray of sunlight, the warmth of a cat curled on your lap, an early bird’s song or the eager wag of a dog’s tail.

So when you are lonely, discouraged, depressed, ill, in transition, depleted, defeated or lost, that is precisely when it is better to RECEIVE the support you need. It is not always expected, practical or possible to save yourself or go it alone. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do for yourself is to yield to and receive the blessing that’s tailor-made for your situation. Sometimes it is better to RECEIVE. In that moment, the only thing left for you to give … is thanks.

**Resources for specific challenges**

[Please share this page and information so that as you receive you also give]

Addiction (12 Step overview and resources)


Domestic Violence (SAFETY ALERT: Computer browsing can be monitored and sometimes it is difficult to clear the browsing history. If this is an issue in your household, use a computer in a safe location and/or call the National Domestic Violence Safeline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224 instead)

Sexual Assault (Rape, sexual assault and incest) Survivors

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks Risi! Sometimes we can focus so much on giving we don’t realize how deleted we’ve become. All about balance!

  2. I’m really feeling this, T. And it’s so right on time. People do have to learn to receive and the part their “yes, thank you” plays in this whole thing.

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