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Give and Take


Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

Romans 12:6-8 is the famous Motivational Gifts passage in scripture.  Paul lines up the 7 gifts that we all should have in some degree, with some being more natural to us than others.  Prophecy, Ministry (serving), Teaching, Exhortation, Giving, Leading, and Mercy.  Let me expose my sinful nature (aka: who I really am), and just say that I love to be around people that have the gift of Giving the most.  I love a good exhortation and teaching moment, but when push comes to shove I d much rather have a friend that buys me lunch.  Is that really wrong?  Some of my best friends are givers. You know them, and probably have a great pool of givers in your life as well.  Here s how to identify them: They ll insist on buying lunch, they are the ones you send your kids to when they re selling fundraiser junk, and they never ask for anything in return.  In fact, they get angered when you try and offer something in return.  What would we do without these wonderful people? 

But let me turn the questions on ourselves.  What if God was calling you to the gift of giving?  Do others desire your presence because they know that you GIVE more than you TAKE?  Are you inclined to give away what you have instead of listing it for sale on Craigslist as soon as you don t want it anymore?  Let s give God the time to speak to our hearts about what he may be leading us to give.  In fact, let s pray that we all are blessed with the Gift of Giving!

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.