By Kyle Vermette
In this week’s readings from Acts, Paul reminds the priests in Ephesus that Jesus wants them to know that it is “better to give than to receive.” For me, this is extremely challenging. I do not find it difficult to give, but I find it extremely difficult to receive. As a child, I was always told that “sharing is caring” or to “lend a hand where it is needed.”
It was easy for me to share snacks in my lunch or to allow a friend to play with a new toy I got for Christmas.
Giving has always been second nature to me and has stayed consistent as I’ve grown older. I am extremely thankful and blessed that my family would emphasize the value of giving. Scripture continually demonstrates the importance of routinely giving and the repetition makes it sound easy. Through the Scripture I see such a loving and generous God.
My difficulty to receive deals a lot with my struggle with humility.
It is extremely difficult for me to receive the graces from people or from God when I feel that I am not deserving. I find it difficult because I have never placed much emphasis on receiving until my early adult years. Growing up, the lessons I learned about my faith were centered on the importance of giving and the importance of humbly receiving was rarely discussed. My faith was based so much on giving that it became an issue of pride. I had no sense of how to receive graciously. It has always been a battle, but slowly I am beginning to understand the importance of receiving.
I’ve learned I need to check my pride at the door and allow for those around me to freely give.
I’ve learned to look at their gift of giving as an expression of love. This is definitely not easy for me. It is a constant struggle everyday as I continue to learn more about the gift of receiving.
From my limited knowledge of God, I understand that God gives His love to me no matter how many times I turn my back on Him. What's more, God is gracious enough to receive anything I am willing to give. Although I sometimes feel unworthy of receiving from others, I am attempting to be more like God, lovingly receive the gifts my friends and family are offering me. God’s love spreads through the acts of giving and receiving.
So in order for me to love God and others more fully, I must continue to humble myself and be willing to receive as well as give.
I might always struggle with receiving but as I continue to give as God gives and receive as God receives, I will hopefully grow closer to the person I'm striving to become.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kyle is a student at King's University College studying Catholic Studies. He plans on getting his Masters in Divinity with the hopes of working with campus ministry or a non-profit organization. Kyle is a big fan of sports, karaoke, travel, personal fitness challenges and learning more about the lives of the saints.