Do You Give or Take?


“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -- Matthew 6:19–21


Just as we were about to shut the lights off on Halloween night, we had one final doorbell ring. It was the family of six that our family of five has been mentoring for several weeks. Their plan was to end their trick-or-treating with a drive to our neighborhood specifically to go to our house.

We gave the kids a fistful of candy while making small talk on the front porch before they headed home to put the kids to bed.

As we were talking, their second-grader asked me what my favorite kind of candy was. I told him Kit Kat and Twix. As we talked with the mom and the other kids, he dug feverishly through his bag until he found a Kit Kat and gave it to me. It was a really sweet moment. Then he asked my wife what her favorite kind was, and his first-grade sister found a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup and gave it to her.

Just as they were about to leave, the little preschooler, who was clearly up way past her bedtime and who had been observing all that was happening with her brother and sister slowly reached into her bag, found the smallest piece of candy, and presented it to my daughter to have.

My heart just melted at the kindness and generosity of those kids. We didn’t need the candy, and they didn’t need to give it to us. But they had more joy in giving us one piece of candy than they did in receiving the fistfuls we gave them.

God gives. We are made in his image so it is part of our nature to give. We are too much of this world or the world has too tight a grip on us if we don’t find joy in giving. We are mentoring this family because they came forward at our church saying they need it in their marriage and for their children. They have no resources—were homeless for a year—and no friends or family in the area.

And yet, despite the hundreds of pieces of candy they received that night, the thing that brought them joy was giving away one piece.

Be on the lookout today for ways in which you are a giver or a taker. Do you feel closer to God or more in the character of God when you give, or when you receive? God has something to teach you today. Give Him your attention and follow His lead.

  • Watch for times today that you have a chance to be a giver or a taker.
  • What’s the difference between taking something from someone and receiving something from someone?
  • Which brings you the most joy: giving, taking, or receiving?

2 Corinthians 9:6-8; Psalm 37:21; Acts 20:35


“Father, thank You for what You give me. I am so blessed to receive it. Please put it on my heart to be like You and give to others. I want to be generous with what You have provided me—my time, my talents, and my treasures. Lord, give me the joy that comes from being a good manager of the goodness You’ve given me. Amen.”

Bible Reference: 
Matthew 6:19-21
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Psalms 37:21
Acts 20:35