Givers and Takers
Nomenclature for distinguishing groups of humans is extensive, e.g., male and female, adult and child, tall and short, by occupation or profession, country, culture, creed, etc.
In this writing we speak of another distinction: The Givers and the Takers.
Know that if you keep reading you will find yourself in this writing. My hope is that you will like what you find. My prayer is that you rejoice for the you that you have chosen to be---The Who You Really Are.
We come into this world with nothing. We leave with nothing. If valuables are placed in our grave they either rot or are there after our bones have gone to dust. Many are the tombs that have been found with dust and dry bones with gold and jewels still shining.
It is not in my knowledge to speak to whether people are born as Givers or Takers. I know not. While I believe personality is formed in the womb, I rather hope and want to believe that our fetal formation is God-ward with good intentions.
With lungs breathing oxygen and humans providing sustenance a person is exposed to social practices that form our character and disposition towards life. Things we see, touch, taste, smell and hear feed our brain with likes and dislikes, want and don't want, love and hate. The simple beginning is soon complicated by countless sensory items being filed in our subconscious. The devil throws items our way. We, because of our creativity, mix things in with all the other items. The Holy Spirit is constantly pointing us to God.
A child born in China as easily speaks Mandarin as a child born in Virginia speaks English. As social beings we adapt to the experiential world around us. Values of significant others in our lives influence us either to emulate or to choose the opposite.
Before kindergarten age we are very much the person we will be for the rest of our lives except for God intervention, which is sobering and frightful.
I was privileged to be director of a daycare and kindergarten that continued through Grade 3. Any person working with children of these ages will affirm that the nature of children is markedly clear. A psychologist is not needed to administer sophisticated analytical personality tests.
Watch 20 children on a playground. You will easily categorize them. True to this thesis it will become obvious which ones are the Givers and which ones are the Takers.
The Givers think about the group. The Givers want to include the marginals. The Givers see the little one, the left out one, the "not talented" one, the not pretty or handsome one, the one with a physical challenge or speech impediment. The Givers share. The Givers are willing to sacrifice. The Givers value people more than things.
The Takers cling. They cling to their toys. They cling to the swing, the sliding board, the ball. They want to be first, or their friends to be first. They value their possessions. Ownership is important to them.
Children grow up. They live out what they have become. Their lives manifest Giver and Taker syndromes.
Givers see their wealth as a means of making the world a better place. They love to share. Their words, their deeds and their gifts inspire others. They look for opportunities to touch the lives of others in meaningful ways that are positive. Giving is joyful with intrinsic benefits that exceed net value of money or items. Givers sacrifice purchasing items or experiencing social pleasures to provide for opportunities of giving. Givers are happy with sufficient and trust God and others for the journey.
Takers see the world as unfriendly. They believe in preparing for the care of themselves. They hold on to things as security. Takers think that possessions will keep evil away. Possessions will secure safety and pleasure in the future. Things make friends. Things are the path to happiness. They take pride that their possessions afford things that others cannot do or have. They value their person in terms of worldly goods.
Congregations are also divided by Givers and Takers.
Givers see the Church as biblical and strategic in fulfilling the Great Commission. Givers give to ministry thinking of investment in souls for eternity. They think of eternal reward.
Takers see the Church as serving their own purposes. Takers give grudgingly and when it serves their own purposes. They love to tell how much they give.
Allow me to praise the Lord for Givers. Tithe is 80% of the budget of Covenant Church, and my hunch is that much of the remaining 20% is special giving from tithers.
The Bible teaches that it is impossible to out-give God. That how we give is how God returns to us in this life. We sow. We reap.
Let us together rejoice for a spirit of generosity that prevails in the Covenant Family. We live in the flow of God's favor. Countless are the blessings we witness as God rewards us for our generosity. Praise Be to Our God!
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the measure that you give it shall be measured (given) back to you," (Luke 6:38).