“The most loving thing I can do for others is to let them express their love to me.”
I used to run a daycare out of our home when our kids were younger. The parents I served became an extended part of our family. During the time I was privileged to watch others’ children, one family in particular had a rough couple of months. You know the kind – where Murphy’s Law decides to camp out at your house and it appears as though he isn’t leaving for a while. As a family, we were able to step in and help them out. What we did was very minor compared to their needs, but it was something and it felt good to bless them. Soon they were back on their feet and life continued as is.
Less than a year later, it appeared as though Murphy left their front yard and took up residence on our property. Now we found ourselves on the receiving end of their help and I had a hard time accepting it. Not because I didn’t appreciate it. On the contrary – it was sorely needed, but I like the role of blessings others better than having to be blessed.
Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you: I hate asking for help. I don’t just not like it, I hate it. It’s not that I think I can do things better than others. In fact, I know I usually do a worse job, but I don’t like feeling as though I’m inconveniencing others, putting others out, or forcing them to do something they don’t really want to. However, God recently brought me to a place where I realized it is as much a blessing to allow others to “bless” me as it is for me to have a chance to bless others.
I have a great friend who is always telling me, “Don’t steal my blessing,” when their family does something nice for us. That phrase sums it up nicely. As much as I love doing things for others “just because” or to help them over a rough spot, others also want to have the pleasure of doing in the same way. Acts 20:35 says it nicely, “…You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, ‘You’re far happier giving than getting.’” (The Message)
It really does feel good to give to others expecting nothing in return. However, there is a lesson to be learned in allowing others to bless you as well. Thank you to all my extended family and friends who have blessed us with so much, especially lately. It’s humbling to be the one getting the blessings and I pray we’ll hear God’s promptings to use our family to reciprocate or to “pay it forward” to others who have been given the unfortunate opportunity to house Murphy on their front porch.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014