Are You a Taker or Giver?

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Are You a Taker or Giver?

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Are You a Taker or Giver?

MP4 Video - 1080p (152.17 MB)
MP4 Video - 720p (76.28 MB)
MP3 Audio (2.09 MB)
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You have two basic choices in life…get or give. Which way are you living?

Transcript

[Gary Petty] I read a fascinating article in the Atlantic Monthly about a group of psychologists who did a study on two different kinds of people. One group of people look at life as just a search and pursuit of happiness. They were people who, every day, they want to have fun, they want to be happy, they want to have no problems, no stresses. Now, all of us would like to live lives like that. But this was the center of their attention. The other group of people approached life with a purpose or a meaning – there’s something underlying in their life that drives and motivates those people, other than just a pursuit of happiness.

Now, we all want to be happy. But some of the studies – what they did, what their conclusions – are very interesting. Here’s what they concluded – the researchers found that a meaningful life and happy life overlap in a certain way, but are ultimately very different. Leading a happy life, the psychologist found, is associated with being a taker, while leading a meaningful life corresponds to being a giver. That’s a very interesting conclusion that they came to.

Basically, what they’re saying here is that, if you spend your life just pursuing happiness, you tend to build a sort of a bubble around you. You go through life only looking at what’s immediately in front of you and try to manipulate everything to make you feel happy. And so your whole life is based on feelings. But what happens when something bad happens? What happens when you lose your boyfriend, or someone you know dies, or you find out your mother has cancer? I mean, what happens when those things happen? Your bubble is burst and you have no way to deal with the problems and the suffering of life. So those kinds of people tend to be takers. They try to take everything in to feel good.

But people with meaning tend to be givers. When we talk about meaning and purpose of life here on Beyond Today, we’re always talking about God’s meaning for our lives, what God wants for us. Let me read to you a scripture. This is written from 1 John, verses 1-3 of chapter 3. He says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God!” God loves us so much because He created us to be His children. You, your potential, your purpose, is to be a child of God. He goes on and he says, “Beloved, now we are children of God and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

What an incredible future. What incredible hope. What a purpose to be a child of God now! Your Creator gives you a reason to live and a great future. And then John says, “And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:1-3 1 John 3:1-3 [1] Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not. [2] Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. [3] And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.
American King James Version×
). In other words, if this is our purpose, we live our lives as if this is our purpose. We live our lives trying to be the very children of God. And God is not a taker. God is the ultimate giver. So if this is our purpose, we will become givers.

Here’s a little something you could do. Get out a piece of paper and write down, in one sentence, a description of what is your purpose in life. Why do you live life? Why do you get out of bed every morning? What is your purpose? In one sentence. Work on it. After you’ve done that, get out your Bible and do a study on all the places in the New Testament where it says that we are either a child of God or children of God. And then take those messages and rewrite your purpose. Make a one-sentence purpose for your life based on what God says. Find your Creator’s purpose. It’s a whole lot greater than what we’ll come up with. And in that way, you will find real happiness. And you will find the strength to deal with the problems of life and a hope for the future.

That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.