A Giver is one that gives, but even more than that, a true giver does not consider the cost.
- They think of others.
- They are considerate of others needs.
- They sacrifice.
- They are thankful.
- They give without thinking. It comes natural.
A Taker is a person who takes things, but even more than that, a taker is self centered.
- They think of themselves.
- They are never content.
- They are not thankful.
- They do not make sacrifices for others because it puts them out.
- They are not considerate of others.
- They feel entitled.
As I cover this series on giving, I want to share with you and underlying reason it can be hard to deal with people who are constantly taking. It is hard to keep giving and keep loving when others keep pulling more from you. I want to show you that giving is more rewarding than taking.
We have been putting in gardens this past week which gave me an illustration...
I think of the Giver as a tree that bears fruit. The taker is like the weeds that try to choke the life from the plant. When the plant is young, just a sapling, it grows alongside the many weeds. The weeds feed on the soil and take the nutrition of the plant when the plant was designed to GIVE. It was planted there so that it would produce fruit.
As the plant grows, the weeds grow too. Sometimes the plant withers under the lack of nutrition. Other times the young plant blends into the weeds and you can't tell them apart. They just compete with each other their entire lives and neither one ever bears fruit. And when the Good Farmer goes to puck the weed, he takes up with it the plant because the plant allowed itself to get entangled.
Yet other takers like pests and disease try to consume the young sapling. But if the plant can make it past a certain vulnerable stage of its life, it can grow into a mighty tree that bears fruit. It rises above the weeds. The weeds still take, but eventually they are choked out in the shade of the tree! A tree that gives both shade and fruit.
A young giver is much the same. They give but when their giving is not appreciated, or noticed, they withdraw and become bitter. The takers come along and take anything and every piece of them until the young giver can give no more. They rise up and join the takers. They figure they can't win. The bitterness created another taker and this world is not better for it.
When I was young, I was a giver. Most of the kids at school knew this about me. I was smaller than all the other kids, so I was a victim of bullying. The bigger girls were mean. They would trip me and laugh when I would fall. They would make a tight circle and not allow me to be included. I was the last one picked for gym class, and the one who no one wanted to sit by on the bus. I was lonely.
I would come home from school many days in tears. I had no friends at school. I would smile at all the kids, hoping one would smile back. When someone would smile back at me, I would forget they were mean to me and trust them again. I would give again and again. And they would take because I would freely give anything for anyone.
I grew up. I did not let the takers get the best of me. I did not want to be like them. I could not take! I could not be selfish! But there was a time when I nearly became consumed and destroyed by the disease of bitterness. I thought I could give no more. Even adults are bullies! I have had many friends that just thrive on having you under their control. They do not bend, they stand their ground. I bend, I give, to fit their needs all the time.
It can be discouraging to give when others take. It can sap the wind from your sails, but do not let it change your direction of growth. When you allow that bitterness to take root, as a giver, your roots can blend together theirs and you will become like them and be out for yourself, too. You may just give up and say that you are sick of bending, sick of giving—WHAT ABOUT ME!!! So many people are out for themselves. It is way more common these days to be out for yourself. You put yourself first, your needs, and your goals first. But you never grow AND you never will bear the fruit God created you to bear!
It is easier to be the taker than to give. When you have given and you become changed by being bitter about the takers, you stunt your growth as a person. The exuberance of love, joy, and the taste of life has lost its flavor when you do not rise above being taken advantage of or the adversities it brings.
If you are a giver, a true giver, you have the risk of being taken advantage of. It just happens. If a taker knows you are a giver, they will use you! That is a real risk! But I am a risk taker after all! I often do not consider the risk because I only have to answer for me not for what they do. It used to surprise me way more than it does today. I have been taken advantage of so many times and from people who you think are the most lovely of people. They may have good intentions to start with but as soon as they sense they have the advantage, even a nice person, will take. Everyone likes a good deal for themselves.
I love surprising people with the opposite! The other day when I was buying plants, the greenhouse keeper told me it was a certain price for all that I picked out, and as I was making my check out, I rounded the number up! He said no has ever done that, and that was too nice of me. Too nice??? Is there such a thing??? I hope not! It is just nice to be nice!
A life lived as a giver, who by the grace of God grows into a massive tree that bears fruit to give even more in this life, is way more rewarding than a life lived for taking. A taker is never satisfied and they never experience the blessings that come with a life overflowing with gratitude and joy! They never see others feeding from their branches, enjoying the sweetness of their fruit. They never get the satisfaction of giving shade to the weary souls who could curl up under their limbs. Nor the fun of hearing laughter of the many children that swing beneath you.
Even though people still take and the scales are never in balance, enjoy giving! I enjoy loving people and sharing my life and joy with others. I choose joy. I choose to be a giver and to love others. I choose to rise above and be a blessing no matter what. You can also choose to be a giver. It is always a choice. And it is a fun choice in the end!
"I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak,
and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said,
It is more blessed to give than to receive."