Are you a giver or a taker? Generally speaking, I think most people fit into one of those categories. You have the “givers” who are always ready to serve, minister, give of their time, open their home, and help out. You have the “takers” who whether by circumstance or habit are always the recipients of blessings, gifts, help, or ministry from someone else.
The problem is that if you are a “giver” you never seem to be able to be on the “take” side because all the “takers” are too busy benefiting from your “giving!” It’s a cycle that can be unhealthy.
If you have a giving heart, God gave you that. And He can really bless you and use you. But, you also need to step back sometimes and let someone else step up to the plate so that they can receive the benefit of giving as well. And maybe you will get the opportunity to be a “taker” and learn how it feels to be a recipient and the blessing that comes with allowing someone else to love you like that.
If you are a “taker,” maybe it’s been unavoidable. Maybe you’ve been the victim of circumstances and being a “taker” is the only way you’ve been able to get by. But you have to be careful because sometimes being a “taker” becomes habit. You get used to it. Of course it’s nice to have others “do” for you – but it’s an even nicer reward to do for yourself. Trust me. It feels so freeing. And there ARE things anyone can do to learn the blessings of being a “giver.” There are simple things you can do to help a friend or family member out, inexpensive ways you can share your home, apartment, condo, or trailer with someone for an evening, or even just sending a note giving someone else your love and encouragement. Everyone needs that!
I think that both sides of the coin can be dangerous if they are unbalanced. A “giver” can become too self-righteous and their pride can swell simply by KNOWING that everyone knows they are a giver. It can almost become a pride-filled label if we aren’t careful. But if you can be a “taker” at times, I think the mercy, grace, and humility that comes with that will help balance out the “giver” in you.
As for our “takers” – you too sit on obviously dangerous ground. But more than that, you need to be careful of losing out on a rich blessing, depth, and meaning that comes with being able to “give” to others. You are in danger of never standing on your own two feet and never knowing what it feels like to be appreciated, valued, and cherished because of the love you have bestowed on others. That can become a lonely place to sit.
Sometimes there are seasons in our lives that necessitate our being givers or takers for extended periods of time. And that’s okay as long as we realize and are aware that we only want it to be for a season. If we can have a goal or focus on a point in time where we want to switch that label, it will help us work towards moving out of our current situation. (Obviously illnesses, tragedies, and other such situations are exempt from this).
Take a good look at what your label might be. What you would call yourself and what others would see you as. Maybe it’s time to take that label off and change it for awhile – receiving the blessing of the new label in the process.