My sister offered to bring potato salad to our July 4th picnic. My old way would be to say, No, I’ve taken care of all the food. What do I hear behind that response of mine? That I am the perfect hostess; that you aren’t worthy, helpful or necessary. Instead I said, yes, it will be yummy, and one less dish I have to plan. Thanks.
A friend at church offered to gave a ride home to someone I had driven to church. My old way would be to say, No, I’m all set. What do I hear behind that response? That I don’t want to share the attention that I get from giving rides; that I want to hold on to a little martyr role.
We all could offer further analysis on my motives, but that’s not the only point. What about the two people who would have been denied the opportunity to serve? My sister wanted to contribute; that’s what we do in families, and she sure doesn’t need an arrogant acting sibling. My church friend wants to share in the giving; that’s what we do in churches; and she gets an opportunity to get to know one of the wonderful older members in the congregation.
Giving makes us feel good; so does giving others the opportunity to give.