Many years ago, I had the privilege of going to Jordan to minister to Iraqi refugees there who had formed their own church. On the last evening, our team was invited to the pastor’s home for dinner and as we entered their home it was apparent that there was more to the evening than we expected. The pastor and some of his team washed our feet as we came in, to honor and show their appreciation for us coming. I must admit, I didn’t feel comfortable at first. To have these men, especially the pastor washing my feet was very foreign to me. I was a “Peter” at that moment, saying to myself “why, and really you don’t need to.” (John 13:6-9)

Of course, I didn’t say those things out loud because it would have been rude and ungrateful. I didn’t know what a spiritual experience it would turn out to be, and one I would never forget. They, like Jesus, were modeling beautiful humility which in turn humbled us. It was done out of their love for Jesus and for us. Serving others is part of the calling of all believers but accepting being served is just as important I learned.

Remember the story of Jesus and the sinful woman in Luke 7:44? Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet . . .”

That story holds many lessons, but I think it is a great example of Jesus who needed nothing from anyone, graciously receiving. This was not the norm at all, but Jesus knew her heart and he was modeling how to receive or to be served. Jesus was normally the one teaching, feeding, and healing, but he wasn’t too powerful or proud to receive this gift from a “sinful woman.”

Sometimes when we desperately want or need help, our pride or shyness can keep us from asking for or accepting it. We might feel very comfortable helping others and serving but haven’t learned that it’s okay to be the one who helped or served. When we don’t, we deprive someone else of the blessing of giving. Even though Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive if you can’t be humble enough to receive, how can you be a servant?

Jesus showed us how to be gracious receivers. Can you think of a time when you were reluctant to ask for help or receive it when offered? Ask the Lord to show you why and how you might do it differently next time.

Deb Hill
Executive Assistant

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