Why Receiving What Your Heart Needs isn’t Selfish

photo by andrewmalone

photo by andrewmalone

Here’s a confession: I ain’t great at receiving. No, ma’am. This southern girl knows how to nod her head, keep her needs hidden, and just carry on with what has to be done.

Maybe you can relate?

I’m learning to open my hands and heart more as the years go by so God and others can pour into my life. But it’s still a lesson God has to bring me back to again and again. It’s simply hard for me to believe that it’s okay to receive.

Yet a story from Scripture recently changed my perspective. Peter and John are going to the temple. Along the way they pass a beggar. The man wants money but what he really needs is healing. Peter says these words to him: “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you” {Acts 3:6}. Then in the name of Jesus Peter lifts this man to his feet to begin a new life full of all he has never known before–running, skipping, jumping, dangling his toes into water on a hot summer day.

The words that grip me in this story come from Peter: “What I have I give you.”

It’s simple, friends, we can’t give what we don’t have.

Yet at one point, Peter resisted receiving too. At the last supper when Jesus tried to wash his feet, Peter protested.

Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

John 13:6-8

Peter relents even if he doesn’t yet understand. I wonder if perhaps that day as he looked at the crippled feet of a beggar the scene from the Last Supper flashed through his mind again. I wonder if he finally connected the dots–that receiving from Jesus is what gives us the power to give to others.

When we’re weary, we often think what we need to do is just try harder. But maybe the opposite is true. Maybe what we need most is to sit down and let Jesus wash our feet. That feels uncomfortable. Like Peter, we squirm in false humility and declare that this isn’t the way things are supposed to be. But Jesus still gently insists. Because he knows that it’s not really about us–it’s about the greater work of his Kingdom. He’s showing us how to love by loving us.

What do you need to receive from Jesus today?

Let him wash your feet, your wounds, the weariness from your heart.

I’ll keep learning to do the same right along with you.

Let’s believe.

Let’s receive.

Let’s give our Savior the joy of loving on us.

And then pass it on.


Holley Gerth

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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