The Paradox of Direction

paradox |ˈparəˌdäks|
“a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory.”

There are many paradoxical realities in life, but one of the most important is that of the direction in which we give and receive. Jesus taught us that it is more blessed to give than receive, and we might just be tempted to dismiss this statement due to its simplicity. But it is a profound truth that shouldn’t be ignored.

What we want is to be loved, accepted, and satisfied; logically we might assume that in order to get what we want, we must try to take as much love, acceptance, and satisfaction as possible, pulling these things toward ourselves in a grasping and groping frenzy.

The truth is, however, that we actually achieve more by giving love, acceptance, and attempting to satisfy others than we ever would by trying to take them. The difference is motivation, selfishness vs. selflessness, and it’s what makes all the difference.

This truth applies on Christmas morning, every day in your relationships, and in your worship of God. We get more by giving more, not by trying to suck it all up for ourselves. If you feel discouraged, try giving encouragement away instead of trying to get more for yourself. You might find that you bless people and feel encouraged in the process.


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