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Givers and Takers
by Ken Barnes
11/20/2017 / Christian Living
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35b NLT)
In the cartoon Peanuts, Lucy once said to Charlie Brown, “We are put here to serve others.” Charlie responded, “Then what are the others here for?” At times life does seem to be unfair. For a season, givers may find themselves surrounded by takers. Givers can feel unjustly used, yet, in the final analysis, takers will never know the joy of giving.
We start out in life and look at famous people. We think how great it would be to be like them. We start to take the things we need to fulfill our desire for notoriety. The disciples of Jesus had this problem. They jockeyed for position for places of honor in God’s Kingdom (Matthew 20:20-24 NLT). Jesus knew they needed an object lesson. He grabbed a towel and washed the disciples’ feet. He was saying to them that the greatest in his kingdom were the givers and not the takers. His disciples were astonished, steeped in the mentality of the world; take what you want before someone else gets it.
If we are honest, we have all felt a little bit like Charlie Brown did. He wondered if he was here to serve others, why just him and not others. Why do I always get the short end of the stick? The Psalmist pondered this dilemma (Psalms 73:2-3 NLT). The bad guys were getting all the good things. Like the Psalmist we must come to our senses, and realize that only in giving do we win, because “it is more blessed to give than receive.” Are you a giver or a taker? If you are the latter, you will never know the joy of giving.
I worked for seventeen years as a missionary with Youth With A Mission. My missionary work has taken me to Mexico, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, and the Ukraine.I hold a Masters of Education in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. [email protected]
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