You know, I’ve learned over the years that there are really two categories of people. There are “givers” and there are “takers.” Which are you?
Now I must tell you that some people are probably geared more toward thinking of how they can help others. They have a gift of “hospitality” you would say. But, as a Christian, shouldn’t we all be “givers?” Shouldn’t we all be inclined by our new nature as “new creations” in Christ, to give?
I think we should. In fact, as an Elder/Pastor, the Scriptures require that I be “hospitable.” (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1). But, a mark of a Christian is someone who follows the example of Christ, right? The word “Christian” means “little Christ.” In fact, I often say, “I’m a follower of Christ.” Yet, this is inaccurate to be perfectly honest. Why? Because, I’m doing more than simply “following Christ.” I’m “in” Christ. I’m part of Him. I’ve been resurrected with Him and I’m “in” Him. The Apostle Paul told the church at Ephesus:
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. Ephesians 1:3-4
See the words, “in Christ” in verse 3? That’s the key.
So, back to the question. Are you a “Giver” or a “Taker?”
Well…let’s look at it from my perspective a minute. 🙂 It’s my “job” to give, right? I’m a pastor…so, I’ve got to be “giving” all the time. Yep. That’s true! And I love it! I have no problem with it. But, I’ll tell you what mystifies me is when you give and give and give to help someone or a family and then when the opportunity comes for them to give back…they don’t. They call the church and want you on their doorstep in 10 minutes and they take and take and take…but, then when the tables are turned and a neighbor is in need…you can’t find them. Why? Because by nature (our sinful nature), we are all selfish. We think about ourselves and our needs and when our “crisis” is over, we move on to bigger and better things and everybody else can just fend for themselves.
I must tell you that my family has been on the receiving end of a lot of “givers,” lately. We have been inundated with many kindnesses. From food to calls, to emails, to gifts and the like for Andrew during his surgery and recovery. He’s doing well, by the way. Here’s a picture of him in his wheelchair.
He’s covered up with a blanket from a “giver” named Taylor Church (his first cousin). She made this blanket for Andrew to keep him warm and comfy. Taylor is indeed a “giver” and not a “taker.”
So we have been blessed. So, think about it. When’s the last time you took a meal to someone in need or bought them a gift card or offered a kind word during their trial or trouble? When’s the last time you went out of your way to really help someone? Went on a mission trip? Helped at your church? Volunteered in your community?
Let me ask you something? Do you get upset when the preacher or deacon doesn’t call on you in your time of need? Well, what about your neighbor in their time of need?
38 “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38
I love that verse. And I often ask myself: “Kevin, with what measure are you giving?” I certainly want to be seen as someone who gives more than he takes.
So, to all of you “givers” out there… THANK YOU!
And to all of you “takers” out there (and I’m sure there are none who read this blog…after all…we all think we are “givers,” don’t we? :)), perhaps we need to step it up in our Christianity and in our hospitality. Let me be the first. But, on second thought…to be polite…