You probably can’t tell it now, but during a particular rough season of my life, I was less than happy with my circumstances, and my skewed thinking wouldn’t even allow me to accept the support of a friend or believe the kind words people said to me. Are you one of those people who finds it difficult to accept support, help or kindness from others?
Are you one of those people? One who is always there for a friend or a family member, but refuses assistance for yourself. There are some people who feel that they should always be on the giving end and never on the receiving end. I believe that could cause a problem in some relationships. Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that,
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens,” so there is a time to receive love and kindness, as well.
In the book of Ruth, Naomi had suffered the loss of her husband and ten years later both of her sons died, leaving their childless wives behind. Understandably Naomi probably experienced some great trauma as a result of her losses. She was left in a country far away from her native land and family.
Naomi loved her daughters-in-law, but losing her family apparently left her feeling not needed or unimportant. She didn’t feel worthy of Ruth and Orpah giving up their future to follow her back to a land they had never known. Often when people don’t feel good about themselves it is hard for them to accept the support of other people.
All Naomi could think about was getting back to a place of familiarity and proximity to relatives. She did not want to impose herself on Ruth and Orpah. Naomi wanted them to feel free to have a good life by marrying someone else in their own hometown, instead of following her out of guilt.
I’m sure that when Naomi’s family moved to Moab, she expected to live a long life with them and see her grandchildren grow up. Instead everything changed. This made her feel as if God himself was against her. And if God didn’t love her, how could her daughters-in-law?
Although Naomi was setting herself up for isolation, Ruth was determined not to leave her. “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you,” Ruth said. “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay…When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.” Isn’t that a beautiful picture of love
Understand that God is love, and whatever has happened to you in your life doesn’t change that. God’s word says:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,it keeps no record of wrongs. I Corinthians 13:4-5
For God to put Adam in the Garden of Eden, to give him Eve and everything he needed, to have Jesus come from heaven to be a living example of how to do life, to allow his only son to be crucified to take the punishment for our sin. Now, that’s love.
If you pay close attention, you may discover that people who do nice things for you, show you support, lend a helping hand or just smile, are really an extension of God’s love for you and to you.
If you are a guarded person, it will be important for you to trust God and not allow cynicism to take a hold in your mindset. It’s easy to think that people have ulterior motives or may not hang around for long, but if we let that kind of thinking guide our relationships, we won’t have very stable ones. At some point we have to trust God to help us maneuver the terrain of relationships. After all, the kindness you reject could be a special delivery from God.
So why not open yourself up to receiving. Let others have the satisfaction of being a blessing to you. The next time someone is willing to inconvenience themselves to spend time with you, or do something nice for you, let them. You deserve it.
MAKE US A PART OF YOUR DAILY DEVOTION AND FOLLOW BREATH ON PAPER (manage).
Cassandra Woods is an inspirational writer and speaker who has seen God’s word become real in her own life. She finds great joy in sharing God’s love with other women and encouraging them to develop an intimate relationship with God. Cassandra is married to Christopher and is the mother of a teenager and three young adults. To read more about her, click here.