My eldest daughter has inherited one of my biggest personal struggles in life: waiting.
Once she gets something in her head she cannot rest until she has acquired or accomplished it.
I am exactly the same; waiting to me has always felt like an utter waste of time- unproductive minutes forever lost in a vacuum of nothingness.
It used to drive me crazy when my parents would say, ‘Patience, patience.’
And yet, I’ve found myself saying to Zoë all too often- ‘Be patient, honey. Good things come to those who…’
‘Instead of demanding the toy from your sister there and then, it might be an idea to ask once, then wait. She’s much more likely to give it to you than if you try to snatch it off her. Good things come to those who wait.’
‘Instead of asking me over and over for the sweet, it might be an idea to wait quietly without pestering me. Then I might be more inclined to give you two rather than one! Good things come to those who wait.’
If we are willing to wait around for a while, we will soon find life has lots of good things stored up for us. Waiting without demanding what we want is no easy task. But it often pays dividends- whether it be with a promotion, an investment return, or the provision of a need that we were were willing to hold off a little bit longer from splashing out on.
And if we are in a season when things are really tough; the principle remains. Wait long enough, and winter will end. Wait long enough, and you’ll see the shoots of spring coming through.
Wait, and the good will come.
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive, but do we actually believe it? Well we should, because it’s true!
There is nothing better than watching someone light up when you give them a gift from the heart – whether it be your time, your money, your talents or your words.
Because the best things in life are shared. Because the hearts that give without expecting anything in return are the most richly blessed.
As Jesus teaches us- ‘give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).
The measure we use will be returned to us. If you are giving with expectations, you’re robbing yourself of the blessing of real giving. Too often we give expecting the person to behave a certain way as a result of what we’ve given. That’s not a gift, it’s a loan or a contract.
How can you genuinely give with no strings attached?
🌱Love without condition.
🌱Talk without bad intention.
🌱Give without reason.
🌱Care without expectation.
How can you show true generosity today?
All this being said, it’s not only important to learn how to give well, we need to be willing to receive the good, too.
Learn to let others bless you. To acknowledge you need their generosity, love, time and care.
Because too often, we let pride prevent good from entering our lives. Some of us won’t accept second hand offerings. Others don’t want anyone to think they are in need, so they either refuse gifts or try to pay them back.
Someone once told me, ‘make sure you are easy to give to.’ This applies to finances, compliments, hospitality – you name it. Be easy to give to. It sounds Irish, but the easier you are to give to, the more you will be given to!
Do you silently squirm inside when someone offers you love, care or encouragement? Do you find good things hard to receive from others? Or can you receive openly and with deep joy? If you’re awkward every time someone tries to compliment you, they’ll be put off doing so again. Make it easy for them!
Practice allowing yourself to surrender to the good feeling of receiving a gift! And in so doing grant the giver the great joy of seeing your delight in accepting their generosity wholeheartedly.
This is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned and am always learning.
🌱Life is too short to hold grudges.
🌱Life is to short to keep record of wrongs.
🌱Life is too short to constantly expect too much of people.
Good things come to those who can let things go and move on. To those who can extend grace and realise that the majority of people are doing their best and haven’t deliberately offended or disappointed us.To those who do the hard work of processing deep pain so they can be free from it.
Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts you’ll ever give yourself. When you practice releasing hurt and choosing to have an attitude of grace and kindness towards others, you’ll be able to be kinder to yourself as well (notwithstanding the fact that you’ll be less angry, sleep better, have less physical pain, better heart function and increased life satisfaction… I could go on and on about this one!)
So good things come to those who…
What words could you add to this list? I’m sure there’s many more I’ve missed.