How does that old saying go? “It’s better to give than receive.” Oh yes, I agree! I love to give. And I love to bless others when they are not expecting it. But let me be honest, I am not so great at being on the receiving end of a blessing.
My pride gets in the way. I don’t need help. I’ve got this. Just leave me be. But the truth is, maybe I do not have it together as well as I want others to believe. Maybe that hand that is being offered is supposed to be taken. Maybe the blessing is not just for me, but also for the person extending the blessing.
A few years ago, I was checking out at Target. My kids asked the cashier for stickers. After checking her drawer, she learned she did not have any stickers. I politely smiled and told her it was okay. But 2 of my children expressed feelings otherwise. While I tried to check out with two very upset kids, the nice old lady behind me started trying to talk to my children. She was asking them sweet questions to distract them.
Me? I’m annoyed. I’m thinking- Please cashier, hurry up… I’m embarrassed… I’m beat… Please, lady stop giving them attention… I got this… They’re my kids… I know what to do… Oh, my goodness children, it’s just a sticker!
This kind lady took my cart and began to push it out the door for me with my kids still in it. She kept talking to my daughter in the front and smiling. As I got to the van to unload, she helped me. She was super sweet. Once the bags were in the van, she said bye to the kids and told them to be good for their momma. Then she went back into the store to take care of her business. I smiled and thanked her though my heart was not grateful, I was offended. Why’d she have to do that? Man, she saw my dirty van! Man, my kids were acting so badly! Man!
It wasn’t until I got home and began to reflect on the situation that I realized- I was wrong. Very wrong. This woman was trying to bless me and my family. She was showing love. I let my pride rule my heart and mind completely robbing me of her blessing and possibly robbing her of the blessing to give.
I love the opportunity to bless others. Why would I rob others of that same opportunity?
TO THE WOMEN IN TARGET: “This perception change has helped me out so much. I am truly sorry to that I didn’t receive your blessing better, but your blessing has changed my heart in a way you never could have seen. Thank you for being there to help me.”
I remember walking into church with four very young kids and people asking if I want help. “Naw, I got this!” Renee, that’s the wrong answer. It’s the wrong answer because I did not even consider accepting the help. That’s pride. I saw their question as, “You look like you can’t handle this.” But that is not what they meant at all. They are trying to offer a hand, a blessing, not say I cannot handle it.
The appropriate answer is to allow them to bless me. “Oh yes, could you please get that door?” or “Sure, can you help me with these tags!” or “Would you mind signing my boys in?” or “Yeah, this diaper bag is pretty heavy, would you mind carry it for me?” But if there really is nothing the person can do for me, it is important that I recognize the gesture of extending a blessing.
It is definitely a lesson in humility, to allow others to serve you. It does not always feel nice, many times it feels completely uncomfortable. But this is what we are called to do. “Blessed are the humble, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) Humble. Accept help. As much as we welcome the opportunity to bless others, we need to allow others to bless us. We are called to be a blessing to others. Sometimes this means to quietly accept their assistance without allowing pride to steal someone’s blessings. Let them bless you. Be humble.
For me this means, allowing the person to open the door of my messy van and help me unload my cart. It means accepting help from the well-intentioned people who ask if I would like help. It means being grateful when the person behind me in line tries to help by deterring my child’s attention. It means smiling saying thank you (and meaning it) when people go out of their way to show kindness.
I can’t say that I get this right every time. I am a momma of five and perfectly capable of handling my duties on my own, but that doesn’t mean I HAVE to do it alone. When a kind person offers assistance or kind words, I need to embrace it. If someone ask if I need help, I should not give my auto pilot response of “No, thanks,” like I used to. I need to honestly consider is there anything this person can help me with? Maybe they can return my cart. Maybe they can put that box of diapers on the bottom of the cart for me. Maybe they can hold the door open for me. Maybe they can just say hi and talk to my kids. Whatever it is, I now strive to accept the blessing of another person.
It is just as important to humbly accept a blessing as it is to give a blessing to someone else.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.