Give More Than You Take

Giving creates stronger relationships, making us more like Christ.  Givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.  – Adam Grant, author 
Adam Grant, in his book “Give and Take”, asks: “If you were to do a study, who do you suppose would finish both at the top and bottom of the success ladder, people who give a lot or people who take a lot?” It’s not a trick question. Yes, at both the top and the bottom of the success ladder is the givers. Grant points out an understanding we all have—there are two kinds of people in life, the givers and the takers. But how do the givers finish both at the top and the bottom? It’s all about timing. The takers usually end up on top in the short-term, but it is the givers who win in the end.  Those who are...
constantly taking from others may have short-term relationship success, but eventually all the taking dries up the life of a relationship. In contrast, those who give more than they take are building for themselves a string of lifelines in the form of healthy, strong relationships.

Just like all good athletic programs require good practices like discipline, endurance and cooperation, relational fitness can be viewed in the same light. To succeed in relationships, we give when it’s hard and costs us something. We push through difficult circumstances when it would be easier to give up, and we put the needs of others before our own. In short, good, strong relationships require personal sacrifice.

As Christians, we can find countless examples throughout the Bible where God’s people give more than they take. Abraham gave Lot the better land. Rahab risked her life for the spies sent to destroy her country. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. For us, sometimes it is something easy like taking the parking spot in the back at church at Christmas, but sometimes it is more difficult like refusing to retaliate when someone takes advantage of you. In any case, when you are the giver who has faith in Christ, you are allowing the power of God to work in those around you.  

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
  1. Paul is instructing the Christians in Ephesus on how to live the Christian life. These Christians were surrounded by immorality and false religion. He is contrasting the ways of the world around them with the life they should live through Christ. Question: As children of God we are called to imitate Christ. What should be the evidence of a Christian’s life? 
Ephesians 5:1-2 (New Living Translation) Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

  1. Paul is writing to the Christians in Colossi. He is instructing them against some false doctrines that were circulating among those in the church and elevating one approach to the Christian life above all others.
Question: What is the most important virtue in the life of a Christian? 

Colossians 3:14 (New International Version)

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.


LIVE… What will you do now?

Today we were exploring the idea that it is better to give more than you take. Be honest, are you more consistently a giver or a taker?

What are some areas in your life where it is hard for you to give instead of take?

Is there a relationship in your life you need to reconcile because you have been taking more than you have been giving?

What are some practical ways you can give more than you take in the lives of those around you?

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?

Today we’ve looked at ways that we can imitate the life of Christ by giving of ourselves in our relationships. Ask God to reveal any relationships that you need to reconcile. Ask Him to give you opportunities to practice giving more than taking in your daily interactions and relationships.
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful lesson Jan. My parents always said it is better to give then receive. I have found that it is in the giving that we receive the greatest blessings. Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs for a great weekend. CM