Value for Value


In the scriptures we read “As you give, so shall you receive” and “It is as good to give as to receive.” Yet there are varying ideas and practices about giving and receiving. Some only give, and some only receive.  Some operate on the principle of giving without receiving and they match well with (and naturally attract) those who believe in getting something for nothing.

One of my favorite quotes is by Fannie B. James. She says “It takes two to make a gift; one to give, the other to receive.” Her words really resonate with me and nicely round out my trinity of quotes about giving. For in giving there is inherently an exchange. A gift is given. And gifts have value. When gifts are received, they are appreciated for their value. But believing her words without the additional foundation thoughts that “it is AS good to give as to receive” and “as you give so shall you receive“… there is a potential for imbalance. I can only speak for myself here, but when I am the only one giving… when I am not receiving… after a while I feel unappreciated.

Now this may only be my experience, but I am a natural giver. I give. I give and I give some more. In fact, I love to give. Giving is part of who I am as a woman, as a minister, as a psychotherapist and as someone who cares about others. If I am not mindful, though, I can easily slip into experiences when I’m a giver and not a receiver. This is something I actually have to make a conscious effort to change.

One of my mentors, Reverend Doctor Christopher Bazemore gave plenty of sermons about what he called  “Value for Value.” When Chris said “Value for Value” he was summing up the Bible teachings that as you give so shall you receive in equal measure. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, and Joseph Murphy, author of The Power of Your Subconscious Mind both taught about the Law of Compensation. This was their term for describing the practice of having balance with giving and receiving. (Both are great books, by the way, which is why I mention them by name.) When one provides a product or service of value, they receive compensation in appreciation for the value they have given and added unto another.

I like the idea of calling it a law. Because I have already been conditioned not to break laws so I feel that much more entitled to following this belief set. Part of my personal commitment to myself is to increasingly embody this concept in my day-to-day living. Remember, I have to make a conscious effort to break the pattern of slipping into giving without receiving. So I literally affirm “Value for Value is my operating principle.  It is AS good to give as to receive. As I give so shall I receive.  That which I give in this world is appreciated and valued therefore I abundantly receive for all that I give, with no exceptions. I am extremely valuable – me, my products and my services are valuable. I am valued. I am appreciated. I am compensated. I am compensated well. And so it is. Amen.”

How have you handled situations where you were expected to give and not receive? Please share… (Don’t leave me hanging out here…)

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Shawna Marie is an ordained minister and psychotherapist who provides inspiration, education and healing at

(c) Copyright 2010 Healing Truth Center LLC. All rights reserved.


2 Responses to “Value for Value”

  1. Atticus Says:

    An interesting as well as a insightful post Shawna!

    I think we’ve all, to some degree or another, thought about this in our daily lives. Mostly with a pinch of frustration, because as you say, we give in the hope of receiving but become easily downhearted when it’s not reciprocated in return. It’s a natural tendency we have, unfortunately.

    Maybe it’s something to do with the instant gratification culture we live which has conditioned our thinking in such a way. Or else, just simply our impatience! ; )

    Giving and receiving are both equal value adders in my opinion, and we need both to tango together for it to work.

    It’s all about perception, I think where we go wrong is that when we give to someone we’re usually waiting to receive something in return from that exact same person. If we look closely, we’ll realise we ARE indeed receiving, from many directions and many hands (God works in wonderful way : )). Not necessarily the one we’re waiting on.

    We just need to show a little gratitude, expect less and appreciate more.

    Would you agree?

    • Hi Atticus. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. You make some really great points and I appreciate you adding to the dialog. It is wonderful to simply give without the expectation of a one-to-one or direct return, especially in relationships among friends, family, associates, partners…. Often the love and the gifts return from myriad sources. I think it’s great to have gratitude, appreciation and also expectations, too. With clients or consumers of services, I do think it’s also important to set a value for your service accompanied by the expectation that you are worthy of receiving. Will be checking out your blog too. 🙂

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