The counterintuitive key to getting more

Today we are going to look at the counterintuitive key to getting more.  On first glance this concept doesn’t make sense.  We find it in Acts 20.  Paul is writing to his friends who are supporting him on his missionary journey and he writes this

You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:34,35

It is more blessed to give than to receive. That is perhaps the most counterintuitive statement you could ever make about getting more.  Essentially he is saying “If you want to get more, you have to give what you have away to other people.”

That’s hard to do, but there are some people here who are already know the secret of this line, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Do we have any nurses in the room.  Nurses know it’s better to give that to receive.  Especially when it comes to giving shots.  Am I right?

Same is true of colonoscopies.  It is more blessed to give than to receive.  I can only assume that is true.  I’ve really only been on the receiving end.  I can only assume it’s better to administer one.

Do we have any dads in the room?  Dad’s know the truth of this verse.  It is better to give than to receive.  Especially when it comes to advice.  Way better to give then to receive. Especially when it comes to dad advice.

Some great Dad advice in these hashtags seen on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.


I know that the phrase is important to my friend Jacques Cesaire.  Jaques comes to Canyon Springs now that his Sunday’s are freed up.  He used to play defensive end for the Chargers.  He made his living hitting people.  This was his theme verse, it’s better to give then to receive.

So there are people in this room who live out the truth of these verses already. But most of us have a harder time.  It’s easier to give shots and hits and colonoscopies, but this verse becomes hard when it comes to this second list

Money.  Much easier to get money than to give money.

Same is true of tickets.  Love getting free tickets.  Just want to put that out there for you folks.  It’s easier to receive tickets than give tickets.

It’s better to give than to receive, but the reality is sometimes we’d rather receive.

Even if mentally, we agree with the statement, most of the time our credit card statement says otherwise.  Sure, most of us would agree that “It’s better to give than to receive” but 99% of those Amazon boxes are for you.

Research by social psychologist Liz Dunn shows that people’s sense of happiness is greater when they spend relatively more on others than on themselves. In one survey of over 600 U.S. citizens, Dunn found that spending money on others predicted greater happiness whereas spending money on oneself did not, and this pattern was found across all income levels. In other words, even those with little money reported greater happiness when their proportion of spending on others, relative to the self, was greater. In a more controlled experiment, Dunn and colleagues gave students at the University of British Columbia an envelope containing money and told them that they either (1) had to spend the money on themselves before 5 p.m. that day or (2) had to spend the money on someone else before 5 p.m. Those who gifted for others were happier than those who gifted for themselves.

Jesus said “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  He also said this.

Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:38

Pressed down, shaken together, running over.  That’s the kind of more you will get if you learn this one habit. Giving.   Giving is one of the great secrets to getting more.  Jesus said it himself.  Let’s see if we can learn out to make this a life habit today.

1) You can’t start giving until you realize why getting is so important to us

Why is getting so important to us?

Getting clothes

Getting shoes

Getting cars

Getting houses

Getting money

Getting into that college

Somehow in our minds we have made those things value statements.  You are valuable if.  If you get into that college and if you were those shoes and if you get enough likes.

2) You can’t start giving if you want what everyone else has

The biblical word for this is called coveting.  Look with me at Acts 20:32

 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions.35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

Paul is referring to the 10th commandment.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17

If you wonder about your coveting I made an updated covet list.

Covet list

Don’t covet your neighbors kitchen Or her Countertops Or his Leather recliner

Don’t covet your neighbors Updated bathroom, new room addition or built in barbecue

Don’t covet your neighbors Pool or jacuzzi or their water feature that includes a slide

Don’t covet your neighbors Dre’s

Don’t covet your neighbors 65 inch 8k nano cell tv Or their home theater surround sound

Don’t covet your neighbors Prada purse, or her Coach or Louis Vittan

Don’t covet your neighbors Nike’s or Vans or Chuck Taylor’s or their Stanz socks

Don’t covet your friends talent in their sports

Don’t covet your friends grades…unless you have an f…then maybe you should covet just a little

Don’t covet where your friends are at..what college they are going to

Don’t covet your friends social Media life

Don’t covet their Porsche or Mercedes or Tesla

Don’t covet their game system or game library

Don’t covet your friend’s vacations

Don’t covet the amount of likes your friend gets on their Instagram

Don’t covet someone’s looks

Don’t covet your friends cool parents or your coworkers hot wife or your neighbors successful husband

Honda ruckus.

Do you know what is at the center of all that coveting? Getting. I want. I want more for me. I want what he has. I want what she’s got.

Even though I have on stage a bad example of coveting, let me give you a line I’ve learned that will at least slow down the getting. “That’s great, but I don’t need it.” That’s not exactly the message we are getting these days.

I want it, I got it, I want it, I got it

You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it

I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it

That comes from the moral philosopher Arianna Grande.

3) You can’t start giving until you slow down your getting

Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Quick question. Have you ever gone looking for something and realized you already had it?

I’ve freaked out about a lost wallet that was in my pocket

I’ve gone looking for glasses that were on top of my head

I’ve panicked over a lost cell phone I was talking on

Contentment is the realization that what you are looking for, you already have.

One author put it like this. Throughout the course of life, we spend a considerable amount of time running around trying to GET THINGS. We go places to GET entertained. We want to taste good things. We want to experience good things. We drink coffee and alcohol to experience different mindsets. We want to GET a million dollars. We want to GET a new pair of shoes. We want to GET an awesome relationship. But no matter what we GET, we realize it is never enough, and there is something else we still need to GET. We spend our entire lives chasing something just out of our grasp.

Once you have slowed down all the getting, then you can get to what you were originally designed to do. Start giving.

Start easy

Write someone a note

Pick up a friends favorite Starbucks drink

Give a compliment

Prioritize time with people important to you

Make a spotify playlist for them.

I made another playlist.  I’m hesitant to tell you what this one was for.  Let me give you some songs and see if you can guess.

Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash

Burning Love by Elvis Presley

Shake your Booty by KC and the Sunshine band.

I named that set Mikes Hemorroid playlist.

Here are some other ways you can give

Find the perfect gift to give and give it for no reason

Slip a gift card in their inbox

Buy someone tickets to an event they would love

Get on Amazon and send them a tee shirt that reminds you of them

Lent Example

I wanted to convey my gratitude and thanks for a great message about lent. Yes, it was a while ago, but wanted to follow up as you ask for us to reach back out to you. For lent, I gave up Amazon, and all on-line shopping for the 40 days. What an awesome lesson for me! The first few days, I caught myself picking up my I-phone and starting to order something off Amazon and would catch myself. As the days continued, I prayed instead of making an on-line order. I must have saved hundreds of dollars as well as got into a great habit. I just gave it back to Canyon Springs.

With gratitude, Melanie