LifeThought: Give more than you take. It’s in the giving we receive.

Give more attention than you demand. Give more love than you crave. It’s in the giving we receive.

There are a few universal truths that, if you will accept, embrace, and employ them, your life will be easier. This is one of them: When you give, you receive!

Do you have a giver’s heart? Your world will expand with opportunities for growth on all levels as you genuinely seek to give to and improve the world around you.

It seems every time I go to serve at one of our local homeless shelters, I go there with the idea of ministering to those less fortunate than I am and to be a blessing to them. The odd thing is, it seems every time I leave there, I feel like I was the one who was ministered to and received a blessing. In the process of giving to others, the very process itself nurtured something deep in my soul and made me more whole.

If you are a farmer or gardener, you already know this foundational truth. The more you nurture your plants, the more fruit or harvest they will produce. I think all of us know, or know of, some crazy old lady who talks to her rose bushes while watering and pruning them every day. Yet, that same crazy old lady always has the best looking rose bushes in the neighborhood. You see, she’s not “crazy” after all. She genuinely cares for those bushes and they reward her and her neighborhood with beauty.

As you pay more attention to the people around you by being honestly interested in their lives and attentively listening to them when they talk to you, they will reward you by giving the same back to you. As you genuinely love and care for others, they will be more loving in return.

Let me be up front with you, though, it’s not a formulaic system that works with all people all the time. There are people in this world who are not of the same mindset and will only take what you give and demand more. Wherever possible, prune those people from your life. It will also not work if you try to manipulate the system.  If you are giving in order to manipulate people into giving back to you, you are often going to be disappointed.

Regardless of what other people do, adopt the mindset of giving, nurturing and adding value to the lives of those around you. The results, though often not immediate or what you might expect, will eventually come as you develop your giving skills. Be that “crazy” old lady who talks to, waters, fertilizes, and prunes the people and situations in your life. You will, in time, be rewarded with a beautiful life.

This is one of my daily “LifeThoughts” posts. If you enjoyed this, or any of my other posts, I’d be honored if you’d share it with your friends and followers!

Do you agree or disagree with what I’ve written? I’d love to hear your comments!

4 Responses to LifeThought: Give more than you take. It’s in the giving we receive.

  1. Melinda Viergever Inman February 26, 2014 at 6:48 AM #

    Your words are always powerful and uplifting, Bruce, and now especially as you’re battling a serious health problem. The human tendency is to hunker down, to self-protect, and to quit giving. Yet here today, you’re sharing about the giving of ourselves to better the lives of others, in short Christlikeness. In doing so, we reap great joy, yes, but we also live life as God intended it, lives of service and kindness and compassion. Thank you for your daily encouragement. What a world we would have if we all followed this model!

    • Bruce February 26, 2014 at 7:06 AM #

      Thank you, Melinda! You are right about the tendency to pull back and focus on ourselves when we are hurting. I can’t deny feeling the pull in that direction, but I definitely feel God’s pull in the other direction and His pull is stronger. He put me on this earth for a purpose and, while I have serious challenges in my life, I know He won’t take me home until that purpose is fulfilled. For me, it is much more therapeutic to keep giving and encouraging others, rather than just focusing on me. I’ve always loved the C.S. Lewis quote: “It’s not the load that breaks us; it’s how we carry it!”

  2. Kathleen February 26, 2014 at 4:16 PM #

    Bible principles 101 is all I have to say about your post and I whole hardheadedly agree with it.

  3. Connie April 29, 2018 at 12:14 AM #

    Thank you Bruce for sharing this beautiful article and I think you are so right on with this! Bless you