Heart Thoughts: Giving and Receiving

As a minister, it’s truly heartwarming to have a multitude of individuals to express gratitude towards for their various contributions to our ministry. This is the sentiment that fills me as I pen these words to you.

I’d like to commence my recognition of the selfless service to our community with Friday night’s Kirtan. A special acknowledgment goes to Todd Glacy for making this possible for our community. Moving on to Saturday, it was a splendid spring day, and our Garden Team and Labyrinth Team seized the opportunity. The Garden Team constructed a wire fence around the raised beds to protect our plants from critters. Meanwhile, the Labyrinth Team diligently cleaned up the labyrinth and its surroundings, gearing up for the upcoming World Labyrinth Day event this Saturday.

The weekend reached its peak on Sunday with an inspiring message from Matt Purinton, assisted by Betti Lu Lewis. It’s essential to remember those who make our Sundays possible every week: our AV department, spearheaded by Scott Mazer and Christine Wolf; our music team under the leadership of Deana Gurney, and supported by Cali Crowley and Don Labbe. Let’s not overlook our hospitality team, greeters, and bookstore associates. Each one of them plays a crucial role in creating a warm and welcoming Sunday experience for all.

Matt’s talk was on Deconstructing the Idea of Giving. I am going to share a few points from his talk; however, if you missed it you can see it here.

He begins immediately deconstructing some underlying feelings of judgment that giving more is good and giving less or not giving at all is not as good. He leads off with God does not care if you give or not. You are not better if you give more, and you are not less if you don’t. God always and only cares about your heart. Your unfathomable value, your goodness, your acceptance in the eyes of the Divine is never, ever, ever at risk.

As Rev. LeRoy would say, “God is loving you no matter what you do, not any more or any less.”

Matt quoted scripture that underscores giving and receiving, which many of us have learned, and he acknowledges that many have been kind of cudgel in a not too subtle attempt to get us to give more to the church. That is not their intent.

Can giving to your spiritual community be part of the outcome in the process of giving? Sure! Is it appropriate to give at least some to where you are fed spiritually? Absolutely! But, ultimately, the true value of the giving process, wherever and whatever you are giving, is what it does inside of you for your own learning process with yourself and your relationship to the Divine, to the eternal, to God.

The Revealing Word by Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, defines giving and receiving as, “It is necessary to give freely if we are to receive freely. The law of receiving includes giving. The knowledge that substance is omnipresent, and that man cannot, therefore, impoverish himself by giving (but rather will increase his supply) will enable man to give freely and cheerfully.”

Why is this definition important? Because it draws such a clear line between giving and receiving – helping us understand they are the same. Helping us understand that you can only receive to the extent you can give.

In fact, when you are given the opportunity to give, I would suggest you give from a place of gentleness inside yourself at a level that does not produce conflict in your mind or heart. For that is the only way you will learn to trust that there is no sacrifice.

Thank you, Matt, for an important message. It precedes the series I will be starting next Sunday: The Soul of Money written by Lynne Twist.

Know that you are so very loved and appreciated.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey


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