"It is better to give than to receive."
I've heard this my whole life.
My parents are phenomenally generous people. Mind-blowingly generous. They're generous toward family, toward friends, toward co-workers and strangers. Generous. Generous. Generous.
And I have tried to go and do likewise. To give.
But so much of life requires us to receive.
And I find receiving difficult.
We have a network of generous donors who joyfully fund our ministry in South Florida, but I feel embarrassed to receive money. We have friends who load us up with Amish friendship bread and cinnamon twists and sourdough rolls, but I feel like I should pay. We have a God who graciously gives us life and salvation and joy, but I feel like I should earn.
Whether or not it is better to give than to receive, it is certainly easier.
And I would much rather play the Giver than the Receiver.
Just today I got to play both roles. One of our Staff needed help moving. I showed up with my truck. Giving. Our Community Group leaders from church offered to watch Will while Amy and I went on a date. We showed up in our car. Receiving.
I knew what to do and say as a Giver. I fumbled about in the Receiver role.
And I think I know why.
I have a thorough script pre-prepared for my role as Giver. I've rehearsed and practiced, inhabited the character, done back-story and received applause for past performances.
That Receiver character, though, doesn't have a script. He doesn't rehearse much and has yet to earn a curtain call. I think of him as a minor character.
But, in the big picture, when the credits roll, although I as an actor may have played both parts, the critics will agree that my main role was as Receiver in this film starring Jesus.
I may enjoy playing Giver more. But I have to learn the rest of my lines.
Which role do you find more comfortable to play?