Give More Than You Take
Ahhhh the famous words sung by Rascal Flatts in their song "My Wish"... “I hope… you find God’s grace in every mistake, and always give more than you take.”
If only we could easily live by that wish and make it come true.
It’s so darn hard to not think of ourselves all the time. We feel like we have to worry about what we’re going to eat, what we’re going to where, what we’re going to do today, what we’re going to do tomorrow. We get stuck in a mode of constant self-thinking.
I realized this of myself a while back. Living a life where you’re just worrying about yourself seems way easier than if you were to invest in others and take the time to care for them too. But God did not intend for our lives to be easy. In fact, we are to stick up for one another even when it’s uncomfortable, love on one another even when it’s hard to forgive, and accept one another even when there are differences. We are supposed to make time for each other, think about each other, and care for each other.
But we don’t.
We sit around and stew about our own problems or look at a screen and compare ourselves to other people. We get roped into thinking that our schedules and tasks are the only things that really demand our attention. We keep looking down instead of looking up.
We need to get our minds off of ourselves.
I recently turned 21, and for my 21st birthday I was trying to think about what I wanted to get, what I wanted to receive. I came up with a few things and realized how unfulfilling these things would be. Instead, I spent the night brainstorming 21 random acts of kindness that I could do for my birthday the next day rather than thinking about what I wanted to buy with mom when we went shopping.
I decided to do this because I realized how little I reach out to people and bless them. I realized how consumed I had become with what I was doing, what I was accomplishing, what I needed to get done. I wanted to impact other people and take the attention off of myself.
But then, as I began to think about what I was going to do, I actually began thinking about how I would write about these acts or how I would post about this fun birthday activity. I started thinking about me again. So, I opened up my Bible, and I found these words in Matthew 6, “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself… When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.”
So, I didn’t post about all the things I did. I didn’t post a picture with my 21 acts. I didn’t expect anything in return. I just gave. And guess what…
It felt amazing.
When we give and want to show it off for the world to see, it doesn’t matter, because our intentions are not what they should be. When we give, it is so that we are a blessing to others. It is not for applause or praise. In Acts 20 it tells us, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
I once listened to a 91-year-old WWII veteran speak and he said, “Our lives are not about collecting things. It’s about serving each other.”
Give without expecting anything in return. Don’t showcase good deeds for the world to see. Do them because you want to love on others and bless them. It will leave you happier than when you receive, I promise you.
I have now committed myself to reaching out to at least one person each day - just one person who I feel has been on my heart or who I know could need a little boost. It takes a minute to reach out. That one single minute could mean the world to someone.
Think of people as plants. The more you water them, give them nutrients, and shine some light on them, the more harvest or fruit they will produce.
You may think that your greatest happiness will come from what you take from the world. But at the end of your life, what really matters when you look back is what you gave to the world.
Give more than you take today.
one more small thing:
So I wrote this blog last week, and later that night I opened up my devotional for that day. The verse Acts 20:35 “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” was written across the top. How crazy!!
God works in mighty and mysterious ways. He’s always working within your life… but you have to reach out to Him and pour into Him just like He pours into you.
Give more than you take, my friends.