At dinner last night we were talking to our translator, and she was telling us about Peruvian culture, and some of the cultural norms. One of the things that she said was that since so many people in Peru have very little, they are accustomed to always receiving. Even many of the churches don't talk about tithing, or giving to the church because they don't want the people to feel like they're pressuring them into giving.
When she lived in the US, she said, she learned so much about the blessing of giving to others, and being able to share what God has giving to her. She used the example of sowing seeds. She was given seeds, and if she starts to sow them, she'll receive more. But if she hoards them to herself, there is no need for more to be given to her.
It made me think of the balance that we need to have in giving and receiving. If you're always receiving, you never have the chance to bless someone else with a gift. But on the other hand, if you're always giving, but never receiving, you're going to get burnt out. You need to give people the chance to pour into you, to help you, and invest in your life as well.
There are so many blessings to both giving and receiving, you just have to be able to balance them. At the end of Operation Barnabas last summer, our leaders encouraged us to find a way to have people pouring into us, and a way to pour into others. Find a way to be plugged in and let others pour into you, and teach you. But also find an outlet where you can be pouring into others, teaching them, ministering to them.
God gives us so many ways to grow, we just need to know how to partake in them.