You know them. They’re the people you try to avoid because they suck the joy out of life. My husband calls them “Life-Drainers”.
There’s another type of person. You know them, too. You love being in their presence. These folks are “Life-Givers”.
Which are you?
Wait. Not so fast. I know you think you’re a life-giver. We all do. But could there be just the teensiest area of your life where you drain others dry? Is there perhaps one relationship where you tend to take rather than give? Is there something you do or say–maybe something unintentional–that robs someone close to you of joy? Or confidence? Or peace?
Take this quiz and find out. (Answer True or False)
- I tend to give advice even when I’m not asked.
- I freely and regularly compliment my spouse, my kids, my friends and my co-workers.
- My life seems likes it’s one continual drama after another.
- I listen as much as I talk.
- I’m prone to see the glass half-empty rather than half-full.
- I take care of my body, mind and soul.
- I have to admit I often feel the need to correct my spouse, kids or others.
- I’m a happy person.
- People seem to hurt my feelings a lot.
- I make and keep friends easily.
- I probably complain more than I should.
- I laugh pretty much everyday.
- I’ve been dealing with the same issue for years, without improvement.
- Others would say I’m unselfish.
- I know of at least one person who tries to avoid me.
- Bonus: My family and/or co-workers are well-acquainted with my disapproving “look”.
By now you probably guessed if you answered “True” to the odd-numbered questions and/or “False” to the even-numbered questions (except 16), you may be more of a life-drainer than you previously thought.
But heavens, I don’t want the stark reality of the truth to drain you dry! I want it to set you free! (And for the record, after considering my answers to the quiz, I could use a little tune-up in a few “life-giving” areas myself.)
Have you ever considered that Jesus was (is) the ultimate “Life-Giver”? Sure, we know he came to give us eternal life, but his life-giving capacity reaches so much further! When people walked away from Jesus they felt loved. They felt seen. They felt known. They felt challenged and encouraged. Unless of course, they rejected Him.
Jesus said “I’ve come that you might have life, and have it to the full!” (John 10:10)
Good gracious, that’s the ultimate battle cry of a life-giver!
So how do you and I move toward being more of a life-giver (and by default, move toward being more like Jesus)?
- Admit my life-draining habits.
The first step in becoming more of a life-giver is to honestly own the life-sucking things I do, things I say, and ways I relate. Be specific. Telling yourself “yeah, I could do better, but…” won’t help one bit. Pick one specific way you want to improve. Got it? What is it? Say it out loud or write it down.
2. Be an intentional life-giver.
Until we overcome our life-draining tendencies–however small they might be–we must be intentional about replacing life-sucking attitudes and actions with life-giving ones.
Do you complain more than you should? Ok. You’ve owned it. Good for you! Now, intentionally give thanks everyday this week. Pay attention to your words and even your thoughts.
Do you criticize a family member more than you compliment them? Ok. Now that you’re aware, say something encouraging to that person every day.
Do you get your feelings hurt easily? Well, then, put on your big-girl panties and toughen up. The world is not against you.
Do you feel the need to correct or give advice more than necessary? (Welcome to motherhood!) How about choosing to pause before you pounce?
There’s little on earth that’s as sweet as being in the presence of a life-giver. Life-givers make you stand a little straighter, step a little lighter, love a little deeper, and laugh a little longer.Life-givers make you better after being with them than you were before. Click To Tweet
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