Chapter 41 – Ability to Receive


Brother, let me be your servant

Let me be as Christ to you

Pray that I may have the grace

To let you be my servant, too

– Richard Gillard

It can take a great deal of humility to accept gifts, help or advice from others, especially from those to whom we have not given anything in exchange. It can be difficult and uncomfortable – for some more than others. Sometimes it can take illness or tragedy to lead us to that point, which can heighten the sense of discomfort because we do not want to burden others, or to be seen as weak: we wish to keep our independence as much as we possibly can.

Society has led us to strive towards independence in this way, to desire never to need anyone or anything but to be wholly self-sufficient. This is not the case in many cultures, and I consider it beautiful that there is such interdependence in other places – I believe that this is something we would do well to learn from. As the Body of Christ we should be able to lean on one another, to share the most profound and personal of our thoughts and experiences, exchange help where needed and advice where desired and challenge where necessary.

The Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

– Acts 20:35, NIV

May we surrender to God our pride, our strife for independence, our ability to receive gifts, advice and help from other people – even those we cannot repay. May God teach us the grace to accept what others may give, even if we do not find it comfortable, and even if we do not particularly like what they offer. Since it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), may we allow others that blessing, and enjoy whatever it is that they may want to give. May we surrender to God, and let Him teach us the grace to let other people bless us. May He teach us the humility to receive with joy the words, time, gifts and help of others. And may we pray a blessing on those people, as we allow them the joy of serving or giving in whatever way they choose.

So let us surrender to God, and let Him shape our attitudes and teach us humility. Let us give up our pride, and graciously accept even the little that people have to offer, recognising that God can use anyone. None of us are beyond advice, so let us not scoff at advice given to us: there is a great deal that we can learn, even from children. May we surrender to God and let Him use people to speak into our lives, even where we least expect it.

May we surrender our pride, and remember too our own responsibility to give and serve others, even – especially – those who cannot repay us. May we surrender our pride and our independence, and choose to depend on God and submit to others. May He teach us the grace and humility to receive from others when they offer something of themselves.

I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.

– Psalm 81:10, NIV


Father God,

Thank You that I am Your child.

I surrender to You my pride and my self-sufficiency. 

Please teach me the humility and the grace I need, and help me learn to accept and receive from others.

I give myself to You – please guide me, and teach me to lean on You.

I surrender also my generosity and ability to serve and give – please lead me.

May I live as Your child, each day more Your own.