Givers vs Takers

Are you a giver or a taker?

Givers give and they give without thought of receiving.

Takers give but with limits and expectations.   They give flattery laced with criticism and only to the point that they are still considered superior.  They give time but only to the limit of their own comfort.  They give of their surplus but only if they are recognized.

Mostly they take.  Their underlying motive, “What is in it for me?  What is less likely to disrupt my life?”  Every conversation is about them and their concerns.  For everyone should know, the world revolves around him or her.

I read this week Dr. Blackaby’s definition of the church.    A living body of believers created by Jesus functioning in holiness, love, unity, and power of the gifts to reach the world with the Gospel.

If the church is not reaching the lost could it be because there are ‘members’ who aren’t supposed to be members.  Should a pastor’s wife say that?

God puts into each church the perfect blend of spiritual gifts.  Each member is then called to love one another and function in unity with the sole purpose of fulfilling His mission.

Anyone not loving or functioning is either in the wrong place at the wrong time or just not mature enough to know better. Hear me on this…I am not talking about new believers.  They are always welcome with the assumption that they will grow in their spiritual gifts with the intent to serve the body.   I am addressing those who church hop while claiming to be mature believers.   You will recognize them by their stories of grand ministries in their long repertoire of church history.

Maybe this parable will help distinguish the two.

Two couples visit the church for the first time on the same Sunday.  That week the pastor and his wife call on both families in their homes.  Couple #1 prepared a two-page questionnaire.  Over glasses of water, sitting on hard straight back chairs, the pastor and wife are drilled for hours.  The goal of the couple, “Is this church acceptable to our standards?” 

Leaving shell-shocked and exhausted, the pastor and his wife dread the next visit.

But Couple #2 opened their home with love, a hot meal, and sweet fellowship.  After an exchange of light conversation, good humor and personal testimonies, the husband asked the pastor, “What are your dreams for the men of the church?”

 

The pastor shares his heart for the church and for the leadership of the men in the ministries.  He is then humbled by the young man’s response, “Pastor from this day on, I commit to pray to become such a man.”

Now who do you think are the ones called by God to be members of that church?  Couple #2 are givers.  They serve with open hearts.  They have faithfully ministered to the members of the church as well as in every outreach project.

Couple #1 were takers.  They attended for years.  They sat through services collecting material to critique the church.  They never committed to any ministry nor fulfilled any long-term obligation.  After a few years, they reached their limit and left.

During eight years of ministry, I’ve seen both givers and takers enter our doors.  The givers stay and are blessed as they bless others.  The takers never last but leave behind a shattered wound in the church.

We’re getting better at recognizing them.   Could it be this discernment is given to protect us from wolves in sheep clothing?  If perspective members come in with a list of complaints of how the church should change to suit them, are they truly called by God for that body?

Should we accept everyone who walks in requesting membership?  I think not.

What do you think?

Can you prove me wrong?

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