I have a jar of peanut butter still waiting to be opened and enjoyed, all because I could not open it. And, I was much too prideful to receive help from my Dad, who I share a home with. The reason I bring this up is because I was sitting here minding my own business studying Luke 7+8. I reached for help in the form of a commentary on Luke 8.
Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. (Luke 8:1-3)
What I took from this was, that Jesus loved women who were (at that time) seen as void and inferior without a husband or children.But, David Guzik noted something else how this list of women provided for Jesus’s ministry. Then Guzik goes on to mention:
“Many of us are too proud to receive help from others. But sometimes the ability to humbly receive is a better measure of Jesus in our lives than the ability to give. Giving often puts us in a higher place, but receiving may put us in a lower place.”
It is amazing and yet frustrating how my issues in relation to people, bubble up to the top in my relationship with God. Time, after time. I suppose the Lord wants me to confront my issues and not dodge them, as I would desire to. I’ve recently came from under a dark period of 2-3 days where I was dismayed by God’s steadfast love for me. This wasn’t something that stemmed from gratitude, but I was almost attempting to excuse God from His devotion. It was dark. I know there is nothing God could garner from our relationship. I resented the fact that I was a constant receiver, and I could give Him nothing at all. God rescued me from that pit of darkness, as He had done before.
I have no problem with giving, now since Christ. But, I still struggle with receiving help. This issue with me is so deep, I can remember being in grade school; digging through my backpack the entire class because I was too proud to ask for a pencil from a schoolmate. I knew I didn’t have it, but I would rather tirelessly rumble through my backpack than to burden a classmate. I remember as an adult when people extended kindness to me, I would hurriedly return it. It was like kindness from others was some sort of debt I didn’t want to have lingering.
I will cook dinner and wash the dishes, yet I won’t ask my Dad for assistance with a jar of peanut butter. Pride. Before Christ, I dealt with depression bordering on having suicidal thoughts. Yet, because of pride I would not seek help or share my burdens with anyone. I’ve also feared to be a burden to people when I was grieving the loss of my Mother. So, I never shared all the things that I felt or feared.
I assume you are much like me, you will freely give yet scarcely take. That you’d rather not have the “debt” of kindness lingering around. Do something radical today, ask someone for help. We often know how good it feels to give to someone else. So, give that amazing feeling to someone else.
P.S I have never struggled with a plastic jar of peanut butter before. It was God who made it so difficult. I banged it around, ran water over the lid and even handicapped my hand for the rest of the day. And, my Dad opens it in five seconds. God has an amazing sense of humor and fascinating way of bringing the deep to surface level.
Prayer: Lord, make us generous enough to give while being humble enough to receive.We are aware that we are prideful people, often only admitting our need for help to you. Lord, we are people who will say short prayers instead of asking our neighbors. God, help us to love others well. When we don’t ask for help we aren’t loving others well at all. In fact, Lord we are only loving ourselves. God make us humble, and may we share the awesome feeling of giving with our loved ones around us. We thank you for hearing our prayers, yet again. We say this prayer in Jesus’s name. Amen.
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