Giving and receiving

By Cornelia Tan

How many of us give in order to receive?

We often think of giving like two-way traffic, with those who give expecting some kind of benefit from the other person in return.

In actual fact, it is much better to give than to receive. And better to give without expectations of a reward or return.


In order to give, we must first be in the position of having enough of something to give.

  • When you own the “I have mentality” you are living out of an abundant life. What you have will never be taken away from you, but more will be added. Because your thought, your focus and your belief is on “I have”.
  • Receivers on the other hand often operate from an “I lack” belief. Because of this, even what they have will quickly disappear. Remember, your thoughts, focus and beliefs shape the environment around you and your life.

Giving carries a reward with itself, when done out of good motives.

  • When we give without expectations, the results are surprising and often surpass all that we could have thought of or imagined.
  • You can touch lives and change people when you give selflessly.

There are many levels of giving. Which level are you on?

Giving in expectation

  • You give to people or colleagues in hope of getting a benefit.
  • The downside to this is that many of us often have a preconceived expectation of what the ‘reward’/benefit would look like. The ‘reward’ seldom comes as we expect it and we risk disappointment.

Giving without expectation

  • You give to people or colleagues without expecting anything in return.
  • In this case, because you have not hoped for or expected anything, if there is a reward or a fruit of your action, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Giving motivated by agape (unconditional) love

  • This is when you give because it would benefit others
  • This carries the greatest reward, inner satisfaction, and feeds your soul. Remember, love in its purity is soul food.
  • At this level, you have the power to change people and circumstances around you for the better.

The best kind of giving

When you give out of love, you inspire and touch the people around you for years and even generations to come. Just like a drop of water spreads ripples in a pond, that little drop you have given will spread and spread and touch lives, change people, bring tears to their eyes, give hope to the world.

If you have time, read this story for an example of an ordinary man who cared enough to enable a distraught young student make it home against the odds to be at his mother’s death bed.

The power of true love is that it takes only a moment, a decision, an action, and it lasts forever. Many things come and go, they cease and pass away, but true love never fails.

May you be one of the people who will carry the light of true love out into the world to touch lives and change people. It takes only a moment, a decision, and an action.

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