Sometimes when we "accept" things it's not because we want them. It may not be our ideal situation or conclusion but we can "live with it". It is a form of "compromise" or mental decision.
When receive something we are often surprised, delighted, honored, and possibly humbled by the recognition. The giver gives from their heart.
Examples: We accept a job offer, We receive a bonus, We accept an apology, We receive a compliment...etc Accepting is taking what is being "offered". Receiving is being bestowed something out of generosity or kindness. Love is given and (received). No one wants their love to be (accepted).
The two words 'accept' and 'receive' seem to be synonyms right down the line except for one additional meaning that 'accept' has that 'receive' does not have. Suppose you work in the Shipping and Receiving department of some business -- you 'accept' delivery of something or you can just as easily 'receive' the delivery.
There's a religious saying that: 'It's better to give than to receive.' In this context, 'accept' would NOT be a proper synonymous substitute for 'receive.' Accept is a more businesslike concept. Receive, in the context of the saying, is more sentimental; it means that you embrace something gladly, willingly, and gratefully that someone has given you (whatever that thing might be).
To 'accept' something also means to RESIGN ONESELF to something -- you know, 'accept that your wife has cancer,' and so on like that. You cannot 'receive' that idea of your wife's cancer because to use 'receive' in this concept would be an odd businesslike reaction, indicating enormous emotional distance on the part of the spouse for his or her wife. You know what I mean?
So, 'accept' in this sad, emotionally wrenching context is the emotional, psychological, reluctant embrace of a heatbreaking fact of life.
Thanks for the question. Take it easy!
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