This week I had the opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ words to his disciples “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
As some of you may know, earlier this year I was selected to participate in a formation group made up of pastors from around the country and completely funded by a generous grant. Over the course of a year, we interact with each other through weekly resources and quarterly retreats, all with the aim of becoming increasingly emotionally and spiritually healthy ministers who can keep giving and going as long as God calls us.
Our group met in Los Angeles this past week and spent time at a retreat center together listening to God. I’m still in LA and am preaching at a friend’s church, a church who helps financially support my husband Dan’s ministry to University of Hawaii graduate students, faculty and staff. This church gives so Dan can give of himself, so others can receive.
As I reflect on the nature of giving and receiving, both described as “blessings” by Jesus, I’m realizing how important both are in our lives. Sure, it’s “more blessed” to give, but that means there’s also a blessing in receiving, one we sometimes forget about. Today as you receive the Word and hear an update from Keith Hamilton on what God is doing through our shared partnership with Alaska Christian College, know that this great work is in part because of your continued financial giving. As you give me the time of this Sunday away, you’re allowing Dan’s ministry to receive the benefit of closer connection between him and his supporters, which enables Dan to give of his time to our community, here, too. And having received, I’m coming back later this evening ready to give back to you, my dear Wellspring family.
You see how this all works together? As you give and receive, you’re helping people around you give and receive too, a cycle of healthiness, care, and joy that’s self-perpetuating. A wise person once said, “You can only give what you allow yourself to receive. You can only receive what you’re willing to give.” A good balance of both is needed in order for them to stay blessings in our lives.
Which blessing do you need the most right now? The blessing of giving, or the blessing of receiving? May you in live such a way that both are yours, this week and every week.
With you and for you,