Updated: Feb 16, 2022
Recently, I had a conversation with a sister in the Lord about giving and receiving. My husband and I had been given an enormous amount of food by someone who didn’t have the storage capabilities to keep it for themselves. Since we have a freezer with available room, we gladly accepted. Feeling favored and blessed by the Lord, we examined the many pounds of beautiful, fresh meat and vegetables, and as we did, we in turn, wanted to bless someone. The Lord immediately told us who to offer it to. We made the phone call explaining how we had been blessed and that we would like to share half with them. They were very appreciative and thanked us many times, but to our dismay+, they declined the offer. Not because they didn’t need it. Not because they didn’t have room to store it. Simply because they felt that there was someone else out there who needed it more than they did. We attempted to gently explain that God had told us to give it to them, but our explanation wasn’t enough to change their minds. My husband and I found places to preserve it all and thus far we have not had the Lord tell us to offer it to anyone else.
I’d like to add a disclaimer here.
It has been my experience through the forty-two years of walking with, and learning from Jesus, that every spirit has two faces. Anger, for example, has one face that is volatile, explosive, controlling, loud, threatening, and aggressive. Its second face is passive, silent, non-confrontational, and uses subtle body language to make sure you know that the purpose of their stubbornness is because of you. If someone cannot control you with aggressive anger, they may turn on the tears (passive), play the “victim,” and try to manipulate you that way.
When we look at one face of it we might see someone who is introverted, paranoid, insecure, and untrusting. A person ruled by fear wants to control themselves and everything and everyone around them. Therefore, the feeling of being out of control might cause a person to behave aggressively.
The second face of fear would be aggressive and hateful. They might be a bully. Since they do not trust anyone or anything, they can be incredibly wicked and mean, because they think only of protecting themselves. They can do horrendous acts without seeing how it hurts someone. It is a “do unto others before they do unto me” philosophy.
Are you getting the picture?
Now, let’s look at the problem of not being able to accept and/or receive. WARNING: I’m going to use a word that probably none of us like. PRIDE.
Did you notice that the middle letter in the word pride is “I”? Our eyes are on ourselves. I refer to this as “the Big “I” Syndrome.”
As I shared the giving/receiving story with my sister, the Lord showed me something. He showed me the second face of pride. First, I want to point out that both faces of pride fit easily under the expression, “honor hungry.” As I address the characteristics of both faces of pride you will understand what I mean. What most often comes to mind when we think about pride? We think of being “puffed up,” defensive, easily offended, quick to voice opinions and judgments (because they are right). You can see clearly that someone like this is looking to be honored. They want others to see how great they are.
Now let’s look at the second face. Notice I’m not saying the “opposite side” or the “opposite face”, but rather “second face.” I won’t take the time to expound on that now other than to point out that the opposite of pride is humility. And we’re not talking about humility. We are addressing the fact that pride, along with all other spirits, has two faces. There’s a big difference!
The second face of pride is often interpreted as humility, but as I said, it is not. Here are some examples of what the second face of pride looks like: it has no self-worth and is constantly berating oneself.
I know people who try and “bait” you with silence. They are hoping you will notice and ask why they are being so quiet. This turns your attention to them. Mission accomplished! They want others to know about them and their problems. Once again, you can see that the second face of pride is also seeking honor. Honor Hunger can cause us to view ourselves as either “too good” or “too bad.” Either way we are focusing on ourselves, not Christ, and that equals selfishness, which in turn equals pride.
It was then that the Lord brought John 3:16 to mind. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever shall believe in him shall not perish, but have Eternal Life.” Is there any doubt that our God is Loving and Giving? The bible is full of scriptures that point that out. (I will share some links below.) And he loved the world (that’s you and me) so much that he GAVE us his Son. He gave us the best of all he had to give. And yet, most of mankind rejects him. I know how my heart was grieved when my meager love offering of food was rejected. I can’t even imagine the grief this has (and does) cause our Heavenly Father when we reject his Son.
Some reject him completely and totally, wanting nothing to do with him. The bible refers to them as unbelievers. Others, (believers) accept God’s gift, Jesus, initially. But many times we reject his attempts to help us or give us good things. We develop an “I can handle this myself” attitude, usually without even realizing it. Any way you look at it, it’s pride. Boastful, puffed-up pride or the more passive, victim face of pride. It doesn’t matter. Both cause us to look at ourselves, not God.
James told us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
Learning what I have in these last few days has caused me to examine myself a little more closely. (Psalm 139:23-24)
Jesus said, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” I pray, brethren, that we never do. Let us accept and receive his love offering to us today, because today is the day of …