Blessing by Accepting Gifts

You know that I love to share with you my favorite household “How-to’s.” But this week, I want to share with you a principle that my mom ingrained into my head at a young age. Today’s experiment: Blessing by Accepting Gifts.

I want to define my use of “gift” here. I am not talking about it’s-your-birthday, bow and wrapping gifts. When I use the word “gift” in this post, I am talking about anything, absolutely anything, that someone desires to give you. It could be hand-me-down clothing for your toddler, food from someone who is cleaning out their cabinets, or a piece of furniture for which you have no use nor space.

Here’s Mom’s mantra: “If someone wants to give you something, never tell them, ‘No.’ If you do, you would be robbing them the blessing of being generous.”

Put yourself in the giver’s shoes and this one makes sense right away. Imagine cleaning out your back closet and finding something that you just know that Aunt Susie would enjoy. You set it aside for her and give it at the first opportunity. She holds it in her hand, gives a slight look disdain and passes it back to you, saying, “Oh, thanks, Honey, but I already have one of those.” At best, you’d feel deflated in this situation.

But what if she accepted it and gave you at least a simple, “Thank you for thinking of me.” You are gratified and your propensity to be generous has increased. You will look on Aunt Susie with kind feelings.

What if someone offers you a bag of clothing for your child where most of the clothes are half-stained and need to be washed? Go on and give a hearty thanks, accept the gift, weed out the ones you don’t want, and shoot off a thank you note. The giver will be gratified and you will be blessed by their gift.

My husband and I have moved four times in the less than four years we’ve been married. With each move, it seems like people are ready or awakened to giving us gifts. Items are constantly circulating in and out of our house. If we don’t need it, we pass it on. If we do, we hold onto it until we don’t need it any longer. We have been the recipients of many items that we did not desire. Often, those gifts have ended up in the dumpster or at our local Goodwill Donation Center.

I admit, sometimes I do get nervous that someone will ask me where that such and such item is that they gave me five years ago. But I need not worry, I think, because they received much more pleasure from my initial excited acceptance and thanks than would in finding evidence of my lasting enjoyment.

I want to know your thoughts about this. Do you agree that accepting everything can be a blessing? Or do you believe it’s being deceitful?

5 thoughts on “Blessing by Accepting Gifts”

  1. As someone who has accepted gifts from YOU (totally cute gloves, among other things, as you were cleaning out your stuff from Podujeve), I totally agree! 🙂 It’s wonderful to be able to give and it takes practice and an open heart to graciously receive as well. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading!

  2. I realized many years ago that there is no greater joy than to be able to help lift a load or to help someone smile again……and giving is very often the way to do these things……It took me much longer to realize that when I turned down someone else’s kind offer, I was depriving them of that same joy.

  3. I realized many years ago that there is no greater joy than to be able to help lift a load or to help someone smile again……and giving is very often the way to do these things. But it took me much longer to realize that when I turned down someone else’s kind offer of help, I was depriving them of that same joy.

  4. i like & totally agree with that idea.
    but it is easier said than done. it is *SO* hard for me to accept gifts sometimes (depends on the gift and the circumstances under which it’s given) because my pride gets in the way. maybe that is something that i will grow out of as i get older, but it’s an issue for me.
    i do like knowing that i made other people feel good though. so hopefully, the next time someone tries to give me a gift and i am tempted to refuse it, i can think of their feelings before my own. 🙂

  5. I believe Honesty is the best policy. If I don’t need the item, I will tell them tactfully and nicely that the item will be of no use to me. My inlaws like to give Xmas gifts that do not suit my taste. I do feel it is a waste of money, time, energy and effort on both sides. I feel it makes them feel good to give but honestly, 90% of the time they give me things that I don’t want. I give up on telling them that I have very different taste. Xmas is not about exchanging gifts which has become so commercialised.

    But I also agreed with you that we should be accepting ‘gifts’ gracefully because that would complete the ‘circle’ of giving and receiving. It is indeed a blessing. That happens when you understand what the other person wants or needs. One of my friends is so good at that and when the ‘circle’ is completed, it is beautiful 🙂

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