Are you a giver or a deal maker?
Before you answer that, let’s talk about what giving is not…If you give anything, be it money, personal belonging, a present or gift, an emotional attachment, or even give of your time…If you give anything, and with the gift expect a return of any type…emotion, thanks, present, money, or anything at all…
If you give and expect anything in return, then you are not giving a gift, you are conducting business. You are a deal maker. It’s that simple.
Sounds harsh, but it’s true.
How can I say something so harsh? Because I am guilty of trying to do business with God. I’ve learned, God is not a businessman, He doesn’t make deals…He is a Grace-giving Gentleman.
I thought I was a giver!
My lesson came last month as we held an auction at our home. We planned months in advance to rid ourselves of 90% of everything we owned at the auction and we had a very good reason for doing this…we were going to be missionaries for Christ. We were ready to serve Him wherever He sent us. So with very high expectations, we sold everything.
If I had been honest with myself, I may have see the wrong motivation and expectations I held before the big day. I did not see how I tried to make a deal with God. I told Him, without actually speaking out loud, these words, “I am selling everything to serve You. I expect, in return, for You to honor me by getting the very best price and the most money possible for me doing this. After all, I’m doing this for You.” Arrogant-oh my, yes! I was so arrogant!
My favorite phrase of the Bible…But God! I was an arrogant, angry woman after the auction when I thought I would have tons of money for all my life’s work. Instead, I received a very small check. That’s where I got really ugly because I saw betrayal. I felt betrayed by the One to Whom I had made a deal. I would give you everything, You MUST give me my expectations in return…
Every physical possession gone, the only thing left: my anger and a lifetime of grief which festered like a boil under the skin. And I spewed it out! I let God have it, I told Him and I blamed Him for every wrong ever done to me. I asked and I questioned His love, His reasons, His purpose. Three days I went on like this.
Another favorite phrase of mine. Then God asked me “Are you finished?” I thought I was, but I continued off and on for another three days, just crying, ranting on and on, telling Him life isn’t fair, I want this, I expected that, I, I, I…get the picture? Then God, in His infinite wisdom, asked once again “Are you finished?” Yes, God, I am done…and I was.
He then taught this tired old soul lessons I hope to never forget.
- God loves a humble heart, not an arrogant deal-maker. Luke 14:11
- The greatest love is to lay down one’s life for a friend. How could I do that if I wouldn’t readily lay down my things? John 15:13
- He (or she) who has been given much, much more is required. Luke 12:48
- Seek God first! Matthew 6:33
- God is a Grace-Giver, even when I am at my worst, He gives me Grace upon Grace. John 1:16
So let me ask you again, Are you a giver? or are you a deal-maker?