A great number of people today are at the receiving end. They are full of “give me, give me.” While they receive from God they do not know how to give out. They forget what the Bible says “Freely you receive, freely you give out.” Jesus taught us how to give. The gift of Himself to the world is a big example. He never expects us to pay Him back. He shares His life with us and demonstrates His love for us. He teaches us how to share.
We imitate Him without minding the costs. His death on the cross for us is the costliest sacrifice. All He wants us to do is to do likewise. He wants us to be self-giving and to follow His ideals. The world is full of people who are at the receiving end. They cannot give but always expects people to give them. There is nothing wrong in receiving but there is something wrong when you are always at the receiving end. It diminishes us when our life is full of receiving without giving out too.
Being at the receiving end destroys one’s sense of self-esteem. One does not feel he is a creative person but a collector and receiver of things from people. At times the things received can affect the spirituality of the receiver. When a receiver cannot receive with dignity, he or she is in trouble. He has sold what is precious in him to the giver. The giver has control over him. In receiving, we must receive with dignity. How can we receive with dignity when we are always at the receiving end? It is always easy to know the mind of the giver whenever he gives the person who is always at the receiving end.
The person who is always at the receiving end is spiritually poor. He must know that life is reciprocal. He must know that life is not receiving always. We must do something with ourselves in order to use some other gifts God has given us to fill the void in us that makes us receive without giving. Giving liberates the individual. In giving, you receive from God.
The average person in Nigeria is a miser at heart. Our first attitude is to hang on to what we have, to hoard everything for ourselves and not to give. How often do we look for opportunities where we can give, not only material things but also our talents? We are caught up with future investment but the future investment is determined by our manner of giving to God and to our fellow men. Do you ask God to give you? Do you help to build a Church for God? Are you in that group that asks God to help you always while you cannot help build God a Church? Some people prefer receiving to giving. If you belong to this class of people, better change and help to build a Church for God, help your neighbour and family and above all, do not hide away your God-given talent. They are God’s gift and investment.
If you try to do all these you will rediscover yourself and be happier, and you come to know that things you get from people cannot really make you happy. Sometimes, when people refuse to give you, something dies in you. An emphatic “No” destabilizes the person. • Very Rev. Msgr. Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and a Social Justice and Peace Advocate.