Forget What You Give. Remember What You Receive.

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I am not sure of the source of this quote. But it’s a very wise one regardless. (If anyone knows, please let me know.)

[Tweet “Forget what you give. Remember what you receive.”]

There’s a lot of wisdom there.

I confess that I don’t always forget what I give. There have been plenty of times that I remember giving something to someone (or a group) and noticing when I didn’t get thanked. In fact, one time a caring person who had similar struggles approached me to talk about this tendency I had. I’m glad he did. It was a helpful exhortation which turned me toward a philosophy of not tracking the recognitions I thought I “should” receive. That makes any acknowledgment I may get even more fun!

Here are some ways we forget to “forget what we give.” We remember:
  • the thank you note we never received for the wedding/birthday/holiday gift we gave;

  • the favor our friend doesn’t seem to want to return after “all we for her in her crisis;”

  • the fact that God doesn’t seem to be “abundantly blessing” our bank account despite our faithful tithing.

[callout]…God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. [biblegateway passage=”Hebrews 6:10″] ESV[/callout]
What would it be like to give something and then put it out of our mind?
  • We could enjoy the “thank you’s” that do come as blessings in an of themselves, not the completion of a checklist we have in our minds regarding how someone else should acknowledge us;

  • We could be surprised by a “return favor” instead of expecting one;

  • We could appreciate the richness we live in each day rather than the dollars we don’t have;
  • We could unclutter our mind from carrying around thoughts of what people owe us.

That leads to the second part: remember what you receive.

How grateful are you for what you receive on a daily basis? Do you focus on noticing your abundant blessings? Here are some ways we can remember the right things:
  • When we experience an inconvenience, be thankful that it was simply that. (Many people are suffering far worse.)

  • Make a point to notice at least one small “love note” from God every day, or at least several times a week.

  • Graciously thank someone who has done a kindness for you recently. Send an email, text, or note or make a phone call. Better yet, thank them just for being your friend!

  • Receive well the kindnesses that others show you. For example, I’ve learned not to say, “You don’t need to do that” when someone offers me a gift (i.e. picking up my tab.) Instead, I’m learning to say, “Thank you for doing that” or “The Lord blessed me through you.” This also applies to accepting compliments with grace. Please don’t diminish the gift others are offering with their words or deeds by saying they shouldn’t have done what God may very well have prompted them to do.

[callout]Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. [biblegateway passage=”Matthew 10:8″] [/callout]

Now, a question for you. What is something you’d like to remember with gratefulness today?