I am extremely grateful for givers. But the question I pose to you is this: are you a giver or a taker?
Givers. The one’s who keep on giving. I’m convinced giving goes against the very nature of fallen man. Fallen man seeks to gratify the flesh on every level. Fallen man seeks to satisfy his needs no matter the cost. In fact, the benefits seem to outweigh the cost nearly every time. I can prove the inherent selfishness that wakes and sleeps in the heart of humanity… just go to Disney when it’s extremely busy.
However, when we make Jesus our Lord and Savior we put off the old man and put on the new man. We become a new creation. An entirely new man that can afford nothing less than to walk by the Spirit.
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want… But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:16-23.
But what happens when we don’t walk by the Spirit? What happens when we don’t meditate on the Word and blatantly disregard the necessity of renewing our minds and rather yield ourselves to the desires of the flesh? We supplant generosity with selfishness. We become takers instead of givers. Or, maybe we fall into the category of matchers?
I’m often curious to discover what subjects are trending in the intellectual world, so every now and again I jump on my TED talk app and search for little gems that spark my interest. A few days ago a “taIk” grabbed my attention and I listened to a thought-provoking presentation led by organizational psychologist Adam Grant, titled “Are you a giver or a taker?”
Now, to the best of my knowledge this talk is a not a”religious” one. It’s a secular, fact-based presentation delivering the results and conclusions from a study that questioned and observed over 30,000 people, ranging from engineers to nurses to sales reps. Adam discovered that the “givers,” i.e., the people that consistently give of their time and resources are the ones that bring in the least amount of revenue, score the lowest grades in med school, and their agendas suffer resulting in incomplete work responsibilities. In other words, they are the worst performers. They are the worst performers because rather than focusing on themselves they focus on the team; their attention gravitates toward the well-being of others. On the flip side, they are also the ones that perform the best. Adam states that, “Givers go to both extremes; they are overrepresented at the top and the bottom” in regard to performance levels.
In his presentation Adam Grant states, “Givers are often sacrificing themselves, but they make their organizations (teams, communities, etc.) better.” He pointed out that when givers share their knowledge and implement ways of mentoring people on their teams, organizations benefit from results such as higher profits and lower operating costs. Awesome, right? But what about the takers?
Adam goes on to point out that takers – the selfish ones – are often eliminated by the matchers. Matchers are the people that tenor toward, “I’ll do this for you, if you do this for me.” They also seek justice, hence why they drive out the takers. But at the end of the day, neither matchers or takers perform the best. Givers produce the best results, every time. Givers are winning 😉
My question for you is this… are you a giver, a taker, or a matcher? Honestly speaking, what category are you representing at this very moment in time? I love what the Lord revealed to me about this subject of giving in His Word. If you will, turn with me in your Bibles to Mark 6:35:
35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.
I love that… “You give them something to eat.” Not someone else. You. Me.
How often do we shirk the responsibility to give? I cringe at the multiple times I’ve snuck away to avoid having to give of my time, love, resources, and more. And the implications of such a selfish response are vast. How many opportunities have I missed out on to be blessed? Not that I am seeking blessings, but Jesus said it’s more blessed to give than to receive. The blessing is found in the giving.
But wait… even better… the challenge is not just to give. The challenge is to give and keep on giving even when you don’t “feel” it in you. Do you think the disciples wanted to give after an entire day of ministry to the multitudes? Do you think that maybe, just maybe, they were ready for some down time?
You will be surprised at the infinite well that’s inside of you. The well that can always give and never runs dry. I dare you to try it. I dare you, on a day that you feel exhausted and drained, to find ways to give. Whatever that looks like in your life. Do it. If you work in a ministry team, find opportunities to go out of your way and help someone in another department. If you work at an office, find out if you can do something helpful for your colleague even if that means your work suffering as a result. If you’re a mom with young kids and your neighbors need help with their kids, go ahead, offer your help. Offer to babysit for them so they can go on a date night. It won’t kill you.
I guarantee as you give and keep on giving, you will eventually produce the best results and improve the overall performance of your team, community, or whichever category you find yourself in. With that said, our number one motive should be love, so make it your aim to sincerely give out of love. Your time, energy, and resources will be multiplied. It’s the Kingdom! The Kingdom of God is inside of you and the provision is always there and He provides seed to the sower. It’s never yours to keep; the seed is given to you to give.
My challenge to you is to settle for nothing less than being a giver. Being a matcher is settling for mediocrity. Being a taker, even worse… Become a giver.
What are some ideas you have in regard to being a giver on a daily basis? Please feel free to comment below and begin a thread of beautifulness on this post! I’ll be first to start and I promise I will respond to your comments 😉
Ps. Here’s the link to the TED talk if you’re interested in watching watching https://www.ted.com/talks/adam_grant_are_you_a_giver_or_a_taker