Last October I posted an article entitled, ‘The Love Bank’. It was an idea from a friend of ours, Jeff Davis whom we were on staff with at New Life Church in Renton, Washington – about 14 years ago. He was teaching our Sunday School class and talking about how each of us has a ‘Love Bank’ and we can either make deposits into it – or withdrawals. The deposits come when someone speaks life and health into our lives – the withdrawals come when someone rejects or speaks unkindly to us. He was talking about the way married couples speak to each other – either good or bad and that can result in a healthy or unhealthy ‘Love Bank’.
This ‘Love Bank’ theory can also be translated into our everyday relationship with our friends and family. The more I live and have observed people, both in ministry and just in my ‘world’ I feel that there are 4 different kinds of people.
The ‘With-holder’ This person will not give a compliment or say anything nice to you – even if you’re standing right in front of them with a new outfit on – a new haircut and have lost 60 pounds. Nope. They ‘with-hold’ because if they give you a compliment – it depletes their already limited amount that they have in their own ‘Love Bank’ and they can’t afford to give any away to you. The mind-set is this: anything I give away – will NOT come back to me. I will simply LOSE it entirely.
The ‘Unaware’ This person is usually a male – no slight on the male sex – just speaking the truth in love – and now understanding a little about the male ‘psyche’ being married to one and also having a son I realize that this is just how males are ‘wired’. It often is not meant as a ‘slight’ – it is just simply that they are ‘unaware’ that anything is different or needs to be said. No one has corrected them on simply being polite in a social situation and that the right thing to do IS to say something kind to someone – they don’t know – so they simply with-hold because they don’t know any better. If taught – they would not be opposed to learning. They do not realize that communication and words are very important when relating with others – especially females.
The ‘Manipulator’ This person will give a compliment if it makes them look better – or better yet – say things only in front of the right person because somehow they feel that will give them more ‘deposits’ into their ‘Love Bank’ for saying something nice. This person has an ‘agenda’ for being nice and is as changeable as Seattle weather. Just when you think this person is truly on your side and is a ‘friend for life’ you find out that there was some other ‘hidden motive’ for being in your world – to make their ‘Love Bank’ richer. When that doesn’t happen – they quickly move on to someone else. They are incapable of really warm intimate relationships because of ‘fear’ – fear of losing themselves and becoming smaller – and losing all their reserves in their own ‘Love Bank’. Fear that you will ultimately get more attention than they will. Or that others will like you better.
The ‘Giver’ This person is someone who naturally is – or has learned to be – ‘a giver’. Someone who knows the secret to filling up their ‘Love Bank’ is to give their love away. The more they deposit into others – the more is naturally deposited into their own. This person is the one who understands risk and of getting rejected and misunderstood – but who doesn’t let it stop them from giving to everyone they come in contact with. This is the person who is first to give a compliment and mean it – without thinking they will get anything in return. The person who often times has to say ‘hello’ first – or make the other person feel good about themselves. The ‘giver’ never asks ‘what’s in it for me’? They just give.
Which one are you? A mixture of a couple of these? Did you say, ‘Ouch’ when reading anything above – or did it make you feel sad? Do you know people like this – in each category? How do they make you feel? Are you on a road to self discovery and wanting to learn how to make your own ‘Love Bank’ healthy and full of deposits? Invest in others. Love God. Love people. You can’t go wrong when you do this. And like the parable of the ‘talents’ – you will not be like the servant who the master gave one talent to – and when the master returned he found that the servant had been worried he would lose it – so he hid his talent in the ground. That one talent was taken from him and given to the one who had 10 talents. I believe the person who had been given 10 talents was the one who had learned the secret in investing in others. So – invest in people – watch your investment grow with much interest as you see your own ‘Love Bank’ fill up to over flowing!