Givers and Takers...two different camps so to speak...which is better for the over-all well being of, well, everyone?  Let's explore!
I'm sure most of us know that the bible says "It is more blessed to give than to receive". We may not know where it is in the bible, but we've at least heard it; if not studied it in our life time. It's Acts 20:35 by the way; and YES, I looked it up myself...knew it was there...just not exactly :). Paul is talking to elders about their being giving to the infirm. We cannot leave this to just one group, the principle is is BETTER to give than to receive.  Most have no problem with that sentiment.  It seems most humans would desire to give...Nice stuff isn't it?
The only perfect example of giving is Jesus. He gave everything; always. He gave the ultimate gift. He died for us. Most would die for a loved one if it was needed, but I venture to say almost none would die for the dregs of they would have a chance to have what He came from...HEAVEN. He died for those people who spat on Him.  He died for those who pierced his side with a sword. He died for those people who nailed him up on that cross...WOW! A great example. I for one am grateful beyond belief. I know that I most likely would not choose to do that as He did. sigh...
I didn't cite the example of Jesus to make us all feel bad. But to give us hope that no matter what, if our HEARTS are in the right place, and we LIVE the way He has asked we get to go to HEAVEN! YAY!
Did you notice the word HEART...yep, that is at the core of whether we are givers or takers. We can give away everything we have...give all day long...give, give, give...but just that act does not mean we are givers.  1 Corinthians 13:3 'If I give all I posses to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing'  Oops...W H A T? Just giving stuff isn't that carefully...the other component to giving is that little BIG word; LOVE.

Love is an action word; not just that gushy feeling we may have for someone. It is sacrifical in nature...again, look at the perfect example above. It is the action of a mature thinker.  We need to develop that kind of love.  We know HOW to DO the love thing...even as children...we give sweet kisses, we smile openly and freely, we give hugs, we share...all actions that are the building blocks to becoming LOVING people who will one day learn to sacrifice in our love for someone else. But, as children, we are LEARNING what it means to love...children still want's hard to always share...they WANT to, and are LEARNING to share...that's where a lot of humans get stuck...they WANT to give...but there is that little childish thing; that selfish thing that keeps them from truly becoming a's HARD for some folks! But, it isn't impossible!
We have some guidelines in the bible for being a giver...Matthew 6:3 says "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." We know that means that we don't give so others will praise us, or at least SEE us giving...there were a group of people in the bible that did things to be seen by men...Pharisees...yep, we don't get the impression that they were the right example of givers. As Jesus Himself said in Matthew 3:7 "Woe to you, teachers of the LAW and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean". YUCK! don't wanna be like them ole Pharisees!
So, some practical questions to ponder if we are trying to figure out if we are givers or takers...What is your TRUE first reaction when...1. You see someone struggling; hurting with an issue in life? Do you say "That's so sad, but "walk" on by?  2. You have something to say, and someone else does also?  Do you feel it's more important to say what you want to say, or let the other person go first?  3. You have two of something and someone you see has none? Do you think...hmmm...I worked hard for what I have! 4. You have an answer to a difficult question when someone is seeking the truth? Do you keep silent so you don't embaress yourself, or make them potentially angry with you? 5. You want life to be one way, but your spouse needs another way? Do you choose your needs? ...just a few simple questions...OR ARE THEY...tee hee...and NOW, what is your TRUE CONCLUSION...what would you do or say or be for the sake of someone else?...
I hope you don't think I was going to give you the "right" is a personal where the decision, the answer must come from inside with LOVE.
This society seems to be raising a generation of those who feel ENTITLED. They think it is the governments fault, their parent's fault, their friend's fault...EVERYONE OWES them something because their life is hard...WOW...Does this describe givers or takers? Where do you think our nation will be in the future if these people raise to power? Where will the institution of family be if we war within our own families and expect the OTHER one to "do the right thing"? WOW...scary thought...
disclaimer...NO, not EVERYONE is this...all families AREN'T this...but, do you see a rising trend of selfishness within our society? within the family? within yourself?  ALL IS NOT LOST PEOPLE...we can go back, IF WE WANT, and RE-LEARN just like we did when we were little...we have a most excellent guide in the bible...those words of truth and love given to us by God...awesome!!
If you've never read "The Giving Tree" now might be the is abou a mother and child...but, we are smart enough to apply it across the board...what message does it leave with you? THAT is also another way you might discover if you are a giver or a taker...:)
SO, as we move through this season where "giving" is highlighted, let's use it as a jumping off point to truly be givers all the time...FROM THE HEART!
PS...yep...sometimes we are all a little bit giver, and a little bit taker...:) BUT, ONE trait is dominant...sigh...and we struggle on!  YAY!...we are NOT alone!!

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