We have a phrase in our house…”We live open handed.” We say this phrase to remind ourselves that we desire as a family to live generously. We don’t want a life of white knuckles holding onto our stuff, selfish and greedy. When our kids are in the midst of fighting over their toys, we always remind them…”Open hands. The Laird’s live with open hands.” Our children have heard the phrase so much that we can simply look at them, open our hands and they know exactly what we are communicating. And it is not just a phrase for teaching our kids, my husband and I have to remind ourselves of this very phrase as well for there are days we don’t want to give up our things, time, and money. This phrase might be simple, but it is such a great reminder for our family to be willing and ready to release anything the Lord asks of us.
This phrase had always been singular focused on the opportunity to give and release, but one day God shifted it to be more. A few weeks ago I was sitting across from my oldest son, Liam, at lunch. I cannot recall the very conversation, but as we talked I was about to remind him of how and why we live open handed. As I was about to give my familiar speech, I felt the Lord tell me this…”Jennifer, you don’t live open handed to only give, but I want you to live open handed to receive.” As soon as I heard this I was quickly telling Liam. I explained to him that there was more to just living open handed to give, but the Lord wants us to live open handed ready to receive.
How could I have missed that? Open handed is way more than giving, but I think it is naturally how we think sometimes as Christians. We think we honor God only when we are giving something up. We become some focused on living a life of sacrifice that we can easily lose sight that our God is a giving God who desires for us to receive. Sacrifice and giving is definitely a part of our Christian lives, but I believe God wants us also to see how much we honor Him as we receive as well.
God desires for us to receive wisdom, blessings, revelation, love and much more. He wants us to receive from our friends and family when they offer help. He wants us to receive rest when we have lived in a week of being non-stop on the go. He wants us to receive the complement and encouraging word from our friend and spouse. And the ultimate gift He would have us receive is salvation. See God released His son and gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to receive grace, righteousness, and an abundant life. Who would not want to receive such a beautiful gift?
James 1:5 “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”
John 3:16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
White knuckles can keep us from not only living in a posture of generosity, but also a life where we miss out on the opportunity to receive. For me giving is usually what comes easier than receiving. I am guilty of staying focused on releasing and missing out on opportunities to receive. Therefore, I know this word was not just a word for my family or for you, but it was directed to me as well. Living open handed is two-fold…to live a life that is ready to release and receive. Our phrase may be the same, but it has a bit more to it now and I am so grateful it does….”Open hands. The Laird’s live with open hands.”