Many of us are great at serving and leading. We’re glad to offer help to others but when we need a hand, “no thanks, I’ve got it” is often the reply.
That was us.
Always wanting to be influential, capable, in control and definitely un-needy it was easy for us to slip into roles like rescuer, servant, loyal soldier or “the responsible adult.”
Early in life, we honed our “care-taking” to such a degree that taking charge just came naturally for us as spouses, parents, leaders, and friends. We got so much positive feedback (like: “we couldn’t have done it without you!”) that, at times, receiving in almost any form felt foreign and downright uncomfortable.
We were more inclined to be in God’s army than his family.
We were really good at giving ourselves away but in the process, we often forgot that the first act of true spirituality is receiving not giving. More specifically, it’s experiencing ourselves receiving love from God that later translates into allowing ourselves to be loved and cared for by others.
We are people who love because we first learned how to be loved by God. (1 John 4:19)
But, are we really learning how to be loved?
Unfortunately, it usually takes being sick, wounded or incapacitated in some way before we’re finally able to see how safe, smart and vitally necessary it is to keep ourselves in an open, receiving posture as a lifestyle.
Some say they don’t like the feeling of vulnerability. We get that. And it’s hard to defend yourself when your arms are outstretched.
“Except you become like a little child, ” Jesus said, “you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.”
All a child does IS receive.
Everything in our spiritual life rises and falls on trust.
- When was the last time you asked for help or support?
- What do you think keeps you from being a good receiver?
- How easy is it for you to allow others to love you or care for you these days?
- What does the experience of receiving God’s love look like for you?
- What are your go-to excuses for rejecting some else’s help?
- How are you at being a follower?
- Is there any part of you that feels like you don’t deserve love or support?
Here’s a simple receiving practice we use:
Take 5-10 minutes and put yourself in a posture of receiving from God. Maybe your palms are open on your lap or your face is open to the sky. Yes, your mind knows you are loved by God —now let your heart experience God filling you up with it.
Experience what it feels like to let yourself be loved.
See yourself, visualize actually being loved by God however that looks for you, just as you are. No qualifiers. No conditions of sainthood required.
Try to return to this posture throughout the day. Receive from God the air you breathe, the transportation you use. Receive smiles from others as love from God. Keep repositioning your strong “adult” self back to into a childlike, receiving stance that balances and supports the loving, serving person you already are.
We really want to encourage you to find more opportunities to grow your “receive-ability.”