Are you a good receiver?


I had a fabulous lunch with a dear friend today. Although I rarely see her, we always pick right up where we left off and laugh until we can’t breathe.

Today, she told me, “You need to be a better receiver.” My eyebrows crinkled (well, except for the botox parts), “What do you mean I need to be a better receiver?” I am thinking, I know I am no Michael Crabtree, but who are you? Richard Sherman? And what does this have to do with our lunch?

She went on to explain, “When I met you in the parking lot today, I said, ‘Look at you! You have lost some weight! You look great!’ To which you said, ‘Ugh, I have gained back 10 of the 20lbs I lost. I feel so gross right now.”

“When you were saying you were worried about teaching again and kind of nervous, I said, ‘You have always been awesome at teaching. That’s one of your gifts.’ and you kind of paused and then kept talking like you didn’t accept that you are talented at teaching.”

She proceeded to give me two more examples of me deflecting a compliment or not receiving a gift of a genuinely kind observation. All of that she picked up in a 1-hour lunch!?!

We then talked about “receiving” and how many people are not good receivers; including herself which is exactly why she is tuning into the issue and trying to be more intentional about receiving and also to encourage others to receive as well. Her point is that we are all made in God’s image and we all have unique gifts, talents and beauty. We often recognize greatness in others, but we rarely give our selves the same courtesies.

She is right. I am a terrible receiver; and so are many people that I know. I love to observe the greatness in others, but I need to be more intentional about reminding others to receive and embrace their own greatness. And also, when someone gives me the gift of a genuine and heartfelt compliment, I should receive it with graciousness so that the person giving it may be filled with the full joy of giving.

I am not at all sure why I am writing about this…. It just kind of stopped me in my tracks and made me go “hmmmmmm?”. What are your thoughts about it? Are you a good receiver? Why or why not?



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