For most of my life, I have been a giver. I have always felt comfortable offering my time, talent and treasure to others. My love language is service. I have not, however, ever found it easy to receive. I will take others up on their generosity but often struggle with it.
A recent event caused me to pause and consider the idea of giving and receiving. I offered to take a friend to a meeting in Richmond so that she would not have to drive back home to get her husband before heading to North Carolina for the weekend. It would save them about 100 miles, and with today’s gas prices, that would be a lot. I had no problem offering this to her because I knew she would pay it forward. That’s how she is.
What truly made me start thinking was how pleased I was that my friend accepted my offer. I am often disappointed when I offer to help a friend in some way, and they do not accept my offer. It isn’t that they simply say, no. They thank me for offering and then never ask for my help. As a giver, this is hard to understand. When I offer to babysit or help a friend move, I truly mean it. It isn’t just me being friendly and then moving on. It is what I want to do.
I realized that my friends who offer to help me with something may be in the same situation as I am. Maybe they truly do want to help me or pray for me, but I rarely take them up on their kindness. Maybe I am making my friends feel as disappointed as I am when a friend doesn’t take me up on an offer I make. this gave me pause. How could I change my attitude?
To that end, my commitment this Lent is to graciously accept help from others. It will certainly be enlightening. I will soon discover who the true givers in my life are. I don’t plan to banish anyone who makes an offer but does not follow through. I accept that about them. However, I want my giver friends as much pleasure I had last Friday when my friend said, “Thank you. That would be great.”
Remember to consider the feelings of the giver when you decide whether or not to not accept their kindness.