I know we’ve been taught all our lives that it’s better to give than to receive, but it’s just not so. It doesn’t even make sense. To say that it’s better to give than to receive suggests that people should do more giving than receiving. How would that work? In order for someone to give, there has to be someone to receive. Every giver needs a receiver; otherwise, there is no giving. The whole process breaks down. If you’ve ever tried to give and had no one to receive what you offered, you know what I mean. Givers and receivers are equally necessary. Therefore, they are equally important, and to label one as better than the other just doesn’t make sense.
But there’s something more subtle to think about. When giving and receiving take place, each of the parties actually gives and each one receives. The process is mutual and simultaneous. To get clear on this, consider the research I’ve done for my latest book. I asked people why they give, and I got a variety of answers that all boiled down to the same thing: they give because it makes them feel good. In other words, they give to receive good feelings. And as long as there was someone to receive what they offered, they did receive those good feelings. Now how about the receivers? What did they give? They gave the givers the opportunity to give. In essence, it’s the receiver who gives the giver those good feelings.
My final argument is directed to the 84% of adult Americans that pray every week. Studies show most people pray regardless of religion affiliation. Have you considered how your prayers could possibly be answered if you refuse to receive? Even God can’t give you what you will not accept!
The truth is: “It’s not better to give than to receive,” and I’m not the first person to suggest this. To quote the most quoted public speaker of all time, “It’s the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Let’s make sure we’re willing to receive it!
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