Give and Take

Bill Abbate

Do you like to give or take? Or, like some, do you find equal pleasure in giving and receiving? Did you know givers can get far more satisfaction than those who take or receive? What is this greater satisfaction?

Let’s explore the concept of getting more from giving by looking at two secrets of the ages.


Who doesn’t like to receive something nice from someone else? Most of us give gifts as a reward, a thank you, or out of appreciation. Why do we give them? Usually because of who someone is or for something they have done.

Yet some people enjoy giving for the sake of giving. Why? Because it makes them happy, or they enjoy the sheer pleasure of giving.

“Giving is better than receiving because giving starts the receiving process.” Jim Rohn (1930–2009)

Isn’t it a wonderful thing to be in a position to give to others, to see them happy and enjoy the gift, and how much they genuinely appreciate it?

Yet what if they are not happy, do not enjoy the gift, or are not appreciative? How does that make you feel? Not very good. It can rob you of the satisfaction you get from giving if you let it.

In today’s consumer-driven world, we tend to think more about getting than giving. Yet, if all you do is take in life, it is doubtful you will find much fulfillment or contentment. A perfect example of this is in your relationships.

Is anything more important than relationships? Relationships are life, after all. They make enjoying life not only possible but worth living. So much so it is only in relationships that you create or gain meaning in life!

The great thing about good relationships is they are more about giving than taking, so long as the giving is with the right motive and attitude. In good relationships, you care for and love one another. What is more meaningful or fulfilling than that?

This is where the first secret of the ages comes into play. When you give with the right attitude and heart, meaning and fulfillment naturally follow.

The first secret of the ages is when you give with a right heart, you receive far more in return.

What is more important in a relationship than giving yourself? Your devotion, love, desire to please them, to help them find happiness, and want them to have a meaningful and fulfilling life. How do you do these things? It all rests on one word — love.

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” Khalil Gibran (1883–1931)

It is by loving others you receive riches beyond description.

The only caveat to this first secret is what you give must be given with the right attitude of the heart. Giving and receiving in this way can prosper you beyond any monetary measure. It prospers your soul. You will find, as I have, that the right attitude of the heart makes life extremely fulfilling.

Scripture says:

“God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor. 9:7b NIV

Scripture also states:

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap.” Luke 6:38 NIV


It is important to realize before you give, you must receive. It isn’t easy to give what you have not received. What have you received that you can give?

The second secret of the ages is when you receive with gratitude and appreciation, you gain far more than the gift itself.

Learn that whatever you receive from someone or something, by accepting it with gratitude and appreciation, you bring it into your life in a different and better way.

If you wonder if gratitude and appreciation are the same, they are not.

  • Gratitude is more affective (emotional, sentimental, touching)
  • Appreciation is more cognitive (reasoning, rational, intellectual)
“Being able to receive a gift with gratitude is a sign of a healthy, humble spirit, which is also pleasing to God.” Luchrisa Valentine (1964-present)

Gratitude and appreciation for anything in life will return more than you can ever give.


If you want more success in your job and life, be grateful and appreciative of what you get from them. What you receive in return will have a far greater value than it would otherwise.

When you receive your paycheck with gratitude and appreciation, the work itself will become more meaningful and valuable. Additionally, your value will appreciate in the company’s eyes.

Example 2

Gratitude and appreciation for anyone you are in a relationship with will produce tremendous blessings. If you are married, why not express gratitude and appreciation to your spouse regularly? This has been one of the most incredible things I have learned. When I find something in my wife to appreciate and be grateful for each day, the blessing of her love in return practically overwhelms me. There is nothing quite like what you receive when you give in this instance. The love, peace, joy, happiness, and fulfillment are unlike anything else.

Final thoughts

“Freely you have received; freely give.” Matthew 10:8b NIV

It is out of what you have received that you can give. True riches always come from giving. It is a natural law like gravity that when you give, you receive. And the more you give, the more you receive.

A fulfilled life is not about things, although some things can be good. A fulfilled life is about relationships. Or, to put it more rightly, it is about gratitude and appreciation for those in your life!

What can you appreciate that you have received today? How about your spouse, children, family, friends, colleagues, customers, job, home, money, food, transportation, and a thousand other things? The more you appreciate each of these, the more you will value them, and the more you, in turn, will be valued.

Remember what you appreciate and are grateful for today will bless you with a meaningful, fulfilled, rich life tomorrow!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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