The Redemptive Gift of Giver Stronghold of Ownership and the Giver’s Natural Strength
Givers understand resources. Psalm 23 is a great picture of how a giver functions. They lead sheep to green grass and still waters. They restore, guide, protect and provide sustenance. Givers are naturally good at stewarding resources to bring security and comfort to themselves, their families and others. At times, though, it can be too comforting and turns more into control issues.
The Redemptive Gift of Giver Stronghold
The stronghold occurs from a wrong relationship with resources.
There are 3 vulnerabilities common to man:
- To promote ourselves
- To protect ourselves
- To provide for ourselves
If the giver is feeling vulnerable and needing to protect his heart, he will gravitate to relying on his natural strength. He will take action, which is usually controlling in some way, to make him feel safe.
It’s easy for givers to become controlling in their shepherding of others. They can miss another’s heart as they unilaterally decide what’s best for them. They can even play God over other people’s lives – their employment, their education, even their beliefs. It’s true that they really are often very giving, yet many times there are strings attached. A giver’s giving always needs to be from a place of stewardship, acknowledging that all belongs to God and that He is the authority.
The classic picture of a giver is the rich old man that is controlling over his son. The son rebels and fights against all the control. The giver insists that the son will be cut off from any inheritance or blessing if he doesn’t follow the career path the giver “knows” is best.
Obviously, not all givers are rich, yet, this plays out in countless smaller ways. Givers perhaps battle performance orientation more than any other gift. They give and serve in countless ways, going around doing good, but are shocked when others don’t respond as they expected. They are usually expecting something in return. At times they may look similar to servants, but unlike givers, servants don’t typically have the same expectations and aren’t controlling.
We All Battle
Any of us can battle giving with strings attached. This happens often in parenting. There’s the dynamic tension between providing for our children and yet them needing to take their own age-appropriate responsibility. We can all also battle with being stingy with our hard-earned resources of money and talents. This keeps us in control and safe.
Overcoming the stronghold of ownership involves embracing stewardship, not ownership. When we allow God to be Lord over how and when we give, it leads to success. Surrendering our basic needs of security and comfort to God’s leading brings prosperity and maturity.
Next week I’ll cover the stronghold for the Redemptive Gift of Ruler.