GIVERS AND TAKERS
by Mark S Witt
The world is full of givers who center their lives around serving, giving, loving others. The world is also full of takers who do all they can to serve themselves.
I believe all of us are born as self-centered takers who care only for ourselves. In fact, the Bible says in Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” One can observe this when watching little children at play as they fight with another child, grabbing their stuff or bullying them. Throughout the years many of us learn how to make the transformation from a taker to a giver. Unfortunately many of us remain a taker and never develop the capacity to be a blessing to others.
Many people have developed the capacity to give themselves to others through their time, talents, and resources. We saw givers exemplify this most during the recent Haiti earthquake. Thousands of givers throughout the U.S. and from around the world responded to the needs of the Haitian people and those true givers will continue to bless this poor country.
A godly, loving, spirit-filled believer always has the attitude of giving. Jesus said in Luke 6:38, “Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
My father,(who passed away Nov 2, 2009) was the most unselfish, giving person I have ever met. In fact, Dad was so blessed because he developed the habit of giving his time, talent, and money. Throughout my life, Dad was always there for his friends and family. He definitely had the gift of giving and practiced it throughout his life.
Dad’s qualities have impacted my son Jason. Jason and his wife Chelsea are always taking challenged teens into their home. They never hesitate to do whatever it takes to help a person in need. I am amazed as a father to see the extent of love this young couple has for others.
Several years ago, Debbi and I were asked to help an older relative during a time in her life when she really needed us. Debbi and I would spend time iout of state where she lived to make whatever sacrifices to help her. When she passed away we were left with some money. Debbi and I were tempted to keep it for ourselves and even though we really could have used the money, we were compelled to use it for the Lord’s work. We are not sorry we made that decision to give the money away.
Many of us in youth work are always handing kids money when they are in need whether in a fast food restaurant or at a vending machine. Time is not important while staying up late listening to a student in need. Givers are concerned for others and communicate that concern through prayer and involvement. Givers care about others more than themselves.
Angie Polyblank started volunteering at Teen Quest more than twenty-five years ago. She began helping our head cook, Glendine Hixson and took over when Glendine retired. Since her husband’s retirement, both Angie and Allan serve as volunteer missionaries most weekends and throughout summer at the Teen Quest Ranch, Angie and Allan are one in a million who have dedicated themselves as missionaries,
On the other hand the world is also full of takers. Takers center their world around themselves and do most things to their advantage. Takers believe life is “all about me”. Many divorces take place because of a self-centered partner.
Since 1976 we have had our share of people becoming involved in Teen Quest only to abruptly quit when they do not get their own way or stop giving because some little thing they did not like. Many Churches have splits over the color of the carpet.
An example of a taker is found in the Bible as Judas was so full of himself that he sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Matthew 27:3 says, “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders.”
Jesus was the greatest example of a giver. He gave His life for us on the cross. He humbled himself as a man and suffered persecution and agony. He could have snapped His fingers and said, ” I am out of here”, but because He is the ultimate Giver, He fulfilled His mission as the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”
Givers find a way to serve; takers find excuses to serve themselves. If you are a taker, pray, repent and grow up! Surrender now and let the Lord develop you into a giver.
ANNUAL “ROUND UP”
Be our guest as we are inviting you and your family to attend our Annual Spring Round-Up held at the Teen Quest Ranch in Somerset on Saturday, May 29th from 1 till 7pm.
Enjoy 140 acres of activities for the entire family to include: fishing, boating, driving range, hiking, sand volleyball, basketball indoors or out, skate park, climbing wall, indoor archery, trampoline. (Go carts, paintball and horseback riding will be offered for an additional fee).
We will provide dinner on the grounds and will show you what God has done these last 9 years.
TEEN QUEST 2009 AWARDS
Every year we pick out outstanding volunteers who have helped to shape the lives of teenagers through Teen Quest.
TEENAGER OF THE YEAR – Steve Neundorf
CHURCH OF THE YEAR – Grace Baptist of Bowie Maryland and Bill Blackford
BOARD MEMBER OF THE YEAR – Ted Bair
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR – Thomas Lilly
Come and catch a big fish at summer camp held at the Teen Quest Ranch. Call for a free brochure 1-800-288-8336 or check out our website at www.TeenQuest.org !
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Why not volunteer your time and talent at the Teen Quest Ranch this summer:
- PAINT THE BARN
- TRIM WORK ON CABINS
- PAINTING WALLS AND CEILINGS
- HELPING TO BUILD A CABIN
- REPAIR AND FIX
We are still looking for the following items:
- TRACTOR WITH FRONT LOADER
- GOLF BALLS
- QUEEN SIZE BED AND FRAME
- TRUCK (inspected)