Choosing to become a giver instead of a taker

Business & Strategy

Most of us grew up learning the lesson, “It is better to give than to receive.”

It’s true.

This line comes from the Bible; the word “better” actually is something like more blessed, which carries the meaning of “Happy Making.” (Language c/o of Randy Alcorn).

More recently, we’ve seen this idea pop up in the idea of “service” — it’s become popular to use phrases like:

Serve your audience
Give value first
Serve, don’t sell

Easy enough, right?


The problem isn’t a lack of information. Especially if you grew up in church like I did, you already know what to do.

This is how God built the universe. Jesus wasn’t a sacrificial servant for the fun of it. He did what he needed to do.

And what he taught is true; it’s evident and consistent with how the universe is designed to function.

There are “laws” that the universe must abide by that go beyond the ones we learn in science class, such as the law of sowing and repeating.

Actually putting this into practice, though? Now that’s a lot harder.

I think the reason is we’ve become so transactional. Even if we truly aim to serve another person for their benefit, a little part of us is still expecting them to reciprocate.

Here’s the big unlock for me:

You know the advice to give with expecting anything in return? It’s true, but I think we should clarify further to as to avoid confusion:

We should give without expectation of return from the one to whom we are giving.

Otherwise, we will miss out on what even the Bible says is the most obvious benefit of being a giver: Receiving.

That’s right, it might surprise you to learn that receiving is not bad. This has been a hard lesson for me, because I always felt guilt associated with receiving.

Here’s the reality:

The Superior Joy comes from having given to someone who cannot hope to repay you;
And when you “unexpectedly” receive blessings, you are more willing to receive them (which is more joyous), because you know that “unexpected blessing” is (at least partially!) a result of unbridled giving.

Because again, that’s how the universe works.

This is one of those puzzling things about the world. You don’t have to be a Christian to “get” this — lots of people are insanely generously who believe all religion is the stuff of fairytales.

As a Christian, I believe the Spirit of God can work inside of your heart and life and make this a lot easier, as long as you consistently live in God’s Word, prayer, and tune your heart to the Spirit’s leading in your life.

(As a side note, it’d be a shame to recognize the universe was built this way and not give the Builder any credit. Just sayin’.🤷🏻‍♂️)

But we can all learn to give more, because people matter. And when you give to people, guess who gives to you? People.

I highly recommend reading The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. It’s a fantastic book that will give you loads of practical context for how to apply this lifestyle in the context of business.

A life of radical generosity is a life well-spent. God help me to become more of a giver every single day—and you too.

Feb 24, 2023

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Hey, I'm Steve — a Christian, entrepreneur, thinker, and creator. Thanks for stopping by!

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