In the movie, What About Bob, the lead character, an extremely needy personality, has the following line: “Gimme, gimme, gimme, I need, I need, I need.” Bill Murray stars as the neurotic Bob Wiley in one of my favorite comedies.
Gimme. That describes so many people. These are selfish individuals, thinking of themselves only. Their mindset is always what can you do for me?
Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?”
Matthew 26 contains the account of Judas betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. This according to Exodus 21:32 was the price of a common slave. Thus begins the heart wrenching account of the Son of GOD being taken by lawless hands, crucified, and put to death.
In the midst of this and contained within the passage above is something easily overlooked. It is what I perceive to be a fatal heart condition. I have to guard against the condition. I suppose in our culture everyone suffers from it to some extent.
It is the “give me” syndrome. Judas said, “What are you willing to give me?” It is the ultimate selfish act. Give me.
One of the greatest Biblical examples of this heart condition is found in Luke 15. It is the story of the prodigal son. When the son first approached his father and demanded his portion of the inheritance, he said, “Father, give me the portion of goods.” His attitude was one of total selfishness. He was not concerned with the heartache or the reproach he was bringing upon his father. His only thought was of self. Give me.
Later in this wonderful story we find the son returning to the father with a change of attitude. When he returns as a much wiser young man, his attitude is “make me” rather than “give me.” No longer a selfish, demanding cold heart; he now says make me like one of your hired servants.
There is a world of difference in “give me” and “make me.” I have the two phrases marked in my Bible so as to remind me of the great lesson.
Asking to be treated as one of the servants, the son now has the attitude of ‘what can I do for you’.
I am reminded of the statement of President Kennedy when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
In the church I find this gimme heart condition all too often. Too many members are interested in what the church can do for them. What is in it for me? O that our attitude would be, what can I do for the church?
The same holds true for any relationship. Whether it is a marriage or a friendship, the gimme attitude is usually a relationship killer. Selfishness will destroy any relationship.
Acts 20:35 – Paul addressing the Ephesian elders shared a statement made by Jesus that is found nowhere else in the Bible. It is more blessed to give than to receive.
If we would adopt this giving attitude rather than the give me attitude, our lives would be greatly enriched. Think of how different the church, our marriages, our friendships, would be if our first thought was ‘what can I do for you?’
Make me is a much different heart than give me. LORD make me, shape me, mold me. LORD make me what YOU want me to be. Keep me from a self-serving “Give me” attitude. Help me to see the opportunities around to do good for others. Opportunities to let my light shine but only so that others will see my good works and glorify YOU.