Givers and Takers
Objectives: To help youth understand the concept of being a giving person rather than a person who feels "entitled" and expects to be a recipient more often than a giver.
Scripture: Acts 20:35, Matthew 19:19, John 3:16, Hebrews 8:12
(Please Note: With a lot of interaction this program will be rather long. It can be used for two sessions or certain sections may be omitted for a shorter program.)
Reggie has two commands that we would like to demonstrate this morning. The commands are "give" and "take." First I have a treat I am going to hold out to Reggie and tell him to "leave." Then I will tell him to "take" it. Next I will tell him to "give" it back to me.
(Do exercise with Reggie, giving him the treat in conclusion.)
Now I am going to do the same thing with a toy. I will put the toy on the floor, tell Reggie to "take" it and then to "bring" it and then to "give" it to me.
(Do exercise with Reggie, treating him at the end.)
Which was Reggie more eager to do: "take" or "give"? (Discuss.)
Why do you think that? (Discuss.)
Reggie got a reward for giving. What was that? (Response.) A Treat. My praise.
Did Reggie get a reward for "taking"? (Response.) Do you think getting the toy was a reward? (Response.) Yes, I think so. He got what he wanted.
In the giving he gave up something he wanted (the toy or the treat) and got something else in return.
III. People Who are Givers or Takers
It is said that there are basically two kinds of people in the world – givers and takers. That is there are people whose dominant characteristic is to give to others. There are also people who are basically takers, always expecting to get or "take" something from others.
Do you agree with the statement that most people are basically either givers or takers? (Response.)
Why do you agree/disagree? (Discuss.)
Do you think that most people are a combination - give sometimes and take sometimes? (Discuss.)
Are some people so wrapped up in themselves that all they think about is "what am I going to get out of it?" (Response.)
Sometimes we seem to feel "it’s all about me". But realistically the world does not revolve around any of us, although some of us act like we think it does. How do you feel about that? (Discuss.)
IV. Bible References
Acts 20:35 say that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Are "taking" and "receiving" the same thing? (Discuss.)
It seems to me the term "taker" is a little different from "receiver." However they are closely related.
What does the term "taker" mean? (Response.)
I would define a taker as someone who always thinks of themselves first and doesn’t mind if other people are inconvenienced or even suffer as long as they get what they want.
Example of takers:
People who always want their own way.
People who take for themselves what belongs to others.
How does that differ from a "receiver"? (Discuss.)
Maybe "receiver" is best defined as someone who accepts a gift that is freely given but which he did not earn, or possibly even deserve.
What does the term "giver" mean? (Discuss.)
It seems to me that a giver is someone who thinks of others first and will even give up something very precious to them to be sure that others have what they need.
Examples of givers: Most parents are givers.
The ultimate giver is God.
John 3:16 says: "For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son…"
This statement implies that love came before the gift.
Is love necessary for us to give? (Discuss.)
Matt. 19:19 tells us to: Love your neighbor as yourself.
This means being a giver. We are compelled to give if we really love!
Who do you think about the most, yourself or someone else? Is that a clue as to whether you are a giver or a taker? (Discuss.)
God tells us to love our enemies. Does this mean we should "give" to them? (Discuss.)
We need to give our enemies forgiveness! The very word "forGIVE" means to give something.
Jesus forGAVE the people who crucified him. On the cross he prayed for them: "Father, forgive them…"
Look at the word for – give. It takes a "giver" to forgive. What about forgetting when we forgive? Does that mean to "leave" the thing we are forgiving?
Hebrews 8:12 says "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
I think forgetting is sort of like Reggie’s "leave it" command. We "leave" that experience or situation and let it lie there. We do not hold it in our minds any more.
It seems to me that Reggie is by nature (a dog) a taker. Maybe he, through training, becomes a giver. I think he really gives only to get something else that he wants!
People should have a higher level of ethics ( knowing right from wrong) than animals. We should be able to change our behavior if we discover we are takers and we want to be givers
Here are some things that will help us become more giving:
(1) LOVE: How do we love others as much as we love ourselves? I think it has to be an "intentional" effort.
(2) THINK ABOUT OTHERS: Look for needs of people around you. Remember needs may or may not be material. Someone may need encouragement, a friend, something to do, as well as the basic material needs.
(3) BE INTENTIONAL: Do conscious acts of kindness.
(4) PRACTICE: Get in the habit of thinking about other people instead of yourself. How does this affect them? How would I feel if I were in their situation? What do they need? What can I do about it?
(5) GOD’S HELP: God is the greatest example of a giver. Take Jesus as your role model. Ask him for help!
If you start to throw a tantrum or sulk because Mom or Dad won’t do something you want. Stop! Ask yourself, "Am I being a Giver or a Taker?" Which do you want to be?
Thank you God for giving us so much. We accept your gifts and that makes us RECEIVERS. But grant us a loving heart and help us to live as GIVERS and not TAKERS. In Jesus’ name. Amen.