What Kind of ‘Giver’ Are You?

What Kind of ‘Giver’ are you?

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” [II Corinthians 9:7]

I’m the type of person who will help anyone in need, give what I can, or just be there when needed. I don’t expect anything in return. At least, most of the time. I say ‘most of the time’ because when you are like me, people take advantage of you and I don’t like that.

Still, I love to do what I can for my friends, family or strangers. But, I have realized giving and receiving is like a double edged sword. When I give….I don’t expect things in return. But I expect a thank you and the person on the other end to do something nice for someone in return. Unfortunately, in some cases the person doesn’t do something nice for someone else, and it bothers me.

I once took my last $40 until payday to help a friend buy some food because she had none until her husband got paid later in the week. I had lots of groceries in the house so the money wasn’t a loss for me. I didn’t do it for praise, I did it because I knew what it was like to have bare cupboards and a child at home to feed. I later found out, that same night she went shopping and bought her kids a huge $300 toy. Needless to say I was hurt. Yes, at that moment, I was able to spend money on food to help someone out but I could have helped someone else who also really needed groceries.

After being taken advantage of a few more times by the above mentioned friend we could no longer be friends. 😉 Through it, I did learn a lesson.

I still give but I’m now more creative in how I dish out funds.  I have a friend whose husband takes pictures as a side business/hobby and when I know they could use a boost, I find an excuse for a photo shoot. Another example is a friend of mine who bakes the most amazing butter tarts, so when she needs financial support, I buy butter tarts. 😉 I’m not helping to get something back but because I want too.  I know that if I just offered the help, they wouldn’t accept it, but they will do me a favour.

Overall, I enjoy doing things to help others and I love to share what I can. In my business, I only charge for when I babysit so it’s not an, ‘I get paid regardless of whether the kids come or not’ situation. It’s not always easy, and I get a lot of flak from others for running my business that way. But for me, it’s my way of helping people when they need it most. Daycare isn’t cheap, and I would rather that the kids I watch have some extra at the end of the day. At the same time, I love to give away the delicious treats I bake because it makes me happy to know others enjoy them.

When I am on the receiving end of getting stuff, I always feel guilty. I very rarely ask for things, so when I do it’s because I need it or it’s something I’ve wanted for a long time but never received. I’ve found that some people give stuff under the pretence of ‘helping’ or being nice but there is an underlying expectation of something in return. It could be that my independence makes me unable to receive stuff without feeling like something needs to be done in return. It’s also possible that I’m just not as trusting that a thank you is sufficient anymore.

I guess life has just taught me that even a kind gesture has a way of backfiring on one, or a simple thank you has, sometimes, become not enough.  But I have also learned that I shouldn’t catch what the world is throwing because our heavenly Father is a just rewarder of those who love Him. And, as a consequence, I will continue to be the cheerful giver that He intends me to be — even if it requires a little creativity.

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