What is the difference between ‘giving’ and ‘offering’? Let’s explore the differences and ramifications of giving vs. offering. What does your giving/offering or lack thereof say about you?
I was offering someone my help and it dawned on me that others have offered their help and encouragement to me in the same way. On the one hand I offered encouragement and on the other I was the recipient. That got me to thinking about what I give and why. Do I expect them to take what I’m giving or am I offering something they can either accept or reject? The focus changed from what I was offering to why I was offering. Then it morphed from what they need to what I’m getting out of it.
The Four things I learned about giving and offering
There is a Difference Between Giving and Offering
Jesus did not give us salvation but he offered it to us. When we ‘give’, we expect the other to receive. When we ‘offer’ something it can be accepted or rejected. The offer stands on its own and does not depend on acceptance to be relevant or generous. An offer is not tied to the giver but stands in front of the receiver unashamed to be accepted or rejected.
Understanding the Difference Between Giving and Offering Matters
When I ‘give’, I am prone to expect the other to ‘receive’. When I ‘offer’, I am leaving the ‘acceptance’ up to the other. I empower them by trusting that they will make their own good decision. Jesus honors us by allowing us to accept or reject his offer of salvation.
I Don't Need to Catch the Ball
It is not necessary to ‘take’ what someone tries to ‘give’ me. I can see it as an offer instead of a gift. People have tried to give me gossip, bad advice, poisonous words, negative talk or the cold shoulder. I do not have to take it. It is my life and my choice.
My Offers/Gifts Reveal Something About Me
I have to admit that I have been in the
‘I’m not giving money to that homeless man because he will use it for drugs or alcohol’
When I asked myself why I was in that camp, it became clear to me that I was judging who I was giving to, using my god-like powers to predict the future and believing I have complete understanding of the full impact of my gift. I saw the money as a ‘gift’ not as an offer. If I view it as an offer, I hold it out as an opportunity for the man, not currency that can only be spent.
· What would it do for me to offer freely?
· What would it do for him?
· What would it do in my soul to not have expectations, prejudice or bias about the other?
· What would it do in my heart to NOT judge but truly put my faith in that other person to make a good decision with the offer?
· Why am I SURE that I know what is best for that person?
This question has exposed my deep down assumptions, pride, and judgment that was masked as logical and prudent thinking with a little dose of ‘I really know what is best’ drizzled on top.
Do you give or do you offer? It is important to make the distinction in your mind. Also, ask yourself these questions.
· Why do I give?
· What do I offer?
· Are there people that I won’t offer anything to? Why?
· Do some people only get my offer of time because I don’t trust them with my money?
· What does all of this say about me?
· What assumptions am I making about my offer?
· Do I have faith to let go of both the offer and the results?
Go for Freedom
I have a challenge for you. Make a bold offer to someone this week. Get out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to feel the fear. Let go of the results. Have faith in the other. You will probably never know the impact of your offer to the other. Does that matter? Can you let it go?