My friend began a business many years ago and retired a multimillionaire—before his business would have been swallowed whole by the rise of the Internet. Resources and money still flow to him, even though he’s now retired. He is one of the most generous people I know, caring for his family and others and using his resources to sustain a generational worldview. My friend is a giver.
The Greek word for the motivational gift of giver is metadidomi—to share what you have with someone else. In Romans 12, the Greek word haplotes describes the way givers should give: with simplicity, sincerity, and frankness. Givers give simply for the joy of giving! Givers can be difficult to identify by their behavioral characteristics, but they are recognized by how they receive and distribute resources. In addition, givers are the gift most likely to birth and nurture new ideas as they use their resources to execute projects. Givers are very frugal people with both their time and resources but must remember that when they support a project, they should focus just as much on people as they do the task at hand.
Though resources flow to the giver, not every giver is rich. Of course, every believer is rich with love, mercy, grace, and the resources with which God blesses them—but not every giver has monetary wealth. (In the same right, the other gifts could have monetary wealth as well!) However, what separates the monetarily wealthy from givers is that givers are motivated give, no matter the situation. True givers will want to give of themselves in every way, regardless of money.
So how can givers develop their gift and become more Christ-like?
- Giving to grow vs. giving to show. One of the most riveting passages of the Bible includes Jesus using a whip to drive out the money changers in the temple. Jesus would not tolerate selfish people using God’s temple for their own gain (Matthew 21:12-13). God does not want givers to use their gifts to upstage, show off, or “profit” from their gifts. Givers must remember that God has given them unlimited resources to further His kingdom. They should give without mixed motives and with no regret while developing a close relationship with God and others to stay balanced.
- Giving out of health vs. giving out of wealth. It is easier to give to others when we have excess! Givers may have abundant resources, but they should seek to stretch themselves to give out of all healthy areas of their lives, not just the ones where they can “afford” to give. Jesus, who perfectly embodied all seven motivational gifts, was not monetarily wealthy, but He gave all of Himself to others and daily met their needs during His earthly ministry. Givers must remember that they can meet practical, every day needs for others by sharing all of themselves—not just money—with others.
It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). I’m thankful for givers who nurture visions and support ministries and projects as part of the body of Christ!
Do you know a giver? How do they represent Christ in your life and community?