Giving To Get or Giving To Give

Our perspective on giving shows a lot about who we are on the inside. Are we giving to give or giving to get? Only you really know that question for yourself. Hidden agendas aren’t always easy to spot on the outside but over time, people will figure it out. It’s about motives and constantly checking yours to make sure they line up with who you say you are.

The Real Givers
There are a lot of very generous people in the world. Those who give simply to give, because they feel it’s the right thing to do. They don’t expect anything in return, they’re just happy to make a difference and share a little bit of what they themselves have been blessed to receive. These people are often people focused and put weight on serving the needs of others. They care about relationships.

The Posers
Then there are those who only give with the expectation of something in return. If they don’t see a possibility of getting something back, they won’t give at all. They won’t tell you that, of course, but it’s quite obvious in their actions over time. They’re in it for what they can get out of it. They care more about themselves. To them, it’s not about relationships, it’s about a transaction. These people are the ones who make others question the motives of Real Givers by tossing doubt into why anyone would want to give just to give. These people create the “Well, what’s the catch?” question that Real Givers often receive.

I don’t know which you are or if you are neither.

What I do know is that every day we have a choice to choose which we will be. A Poser who is self serving and only cares about himself or a Real Giver who is adding value to others, even if they do nothing for them in return.

I know which one I’ll choose to be. What about you?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Becoming a true giver is so difficult because it's against the fallen nature of man. But the more we give without expecting reciprocation, the more we become like God, who's the greatest giver of all.

    • To true Maurilio. It\’s sometimes not easy but, like a muscle, the more we exercise it the strong it becomes. 🙂

  • Hi Daniel, very interesting article. As I was reading this post I began to ask what brought this on? Obvisously there must have been something that triggered this. Do you mind sharing?

    • Hey Peter. Nothing in particular prompted the post. Just a general observation over time, seeing some people try to manipulate giving by doing so with an intent to get something in return. It\’s a post about motives really.

      I honestly just get tired of seeing people try to manipulate others for their own gain. I don\’t give so that I can get. I give because I\’ve been blessed and want to help others. Nothing more, nothing less.

      • What you said is very profound. When you give freely without motive there a buzz of satisfaction that stems from giving. I love giving and when I do check my conscience to make sure there is no agenda behind the giving. Blessed is he who gives and blessed is he who receives.

        Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks Daniel for a great perspective on giving. It's like, we sow to be able to sow again. While the principle stands, those who sow also reap, whether it's the seed of kindness or love, you reap what you sow, so that we can continue to sow and not just reap for ourselves. I like Maurilo's comment, we are like God when we give. He was and is the greatest giver.
    Daniel I also like your post on "14 Ways to expand your influence" Very practical! Thanks

  • Pingback: What You Get From Giving: The Paradox of Generosity | Goins, Writer()

  • Rex

    There is truth in your article, but there is also a dangerous fallacy. You juxtaposed a "true giver" from one "who is self serving and only cares about himself ". The idea that if you are not fully one extreme, you must be the other is absurd. "Only" cares about self? "ONLY give with the expectation of something in return" – really? It seems you view the average person as either fully righteous or fully evil. Does that comport with your experience interacting with people daily? I would guess not.

    Speaking personally, I frequently gives to others with full knowledge and purpose for their good, but ALSO hoping it engenders a positive response. This is neither manipulative or "posing", unless living kindly and in peace with others is "posing" due to a hope or realization such behavior invokes an equal behavior.

    Motives are almost never "pure" because we will ALWAYS be aware of the positive reaction that positive behavior ("giving" in the broadest sense) that will probably result – for ourselves or for others. Knowledge of the quality of the response to good deeds can never be fully flushed from our minds or hearts. Thus, our every "good" action is performed in light of this knowledge which will color our behavior – that is, unless we arrogantly dare to say we have no care about the positive reaction our "giving" behavior invokes.

  • don martin

    well motives change based on the situations…………..