You Get What You Give

Nov 2, 2011, Written by Sue Miley

I don’t believe in Karma per se.  It isn’t that random to me.  It definitely isn’t supernatural.  I don’t believe God plays games with us.

I think it is a worldly thing.  It’s relational.  It has direct correlation to our thoughts, emotions and actions.

You get what you give.

Our Relationships

In relationships if you are distant, forgetful, not present….you may not get the same actions and emotions back, but you get a response to your attitude and actions.

John was sort of like this.  He was working a ton and really absorbed by the stress of his job.  By the time he would get home, he was spent.  He barely greeted his family and immediately went to the TV to zone out.

At first his wife would try to make things really nice when he got home.  She felt for his stress and exhaustion.  But soon, she felt defeated.  The hot dinner on the table became leftovers in the fridge.  The energetic rundown of the families activities evaporated.

When John did have some time or energy his family wasn’t around.  They had moved on to life with people who would engage with them.

It wasn’t karma.  What goes around comes around.  It was a direct correlated response to what John was giving out to the people in his life.

You get what you give.

It isn’t just relationships.

Our Work

If you implement a new sales tracking system or time management system in you office the laws of reciprocation are still present.

You can spend $20 or $2,000 on a new tracking system.  The fully utilized $20 system is more valuable to you than a fancy $2,000.00 system that no one uses.

No system or tool is useful if you don’t use it consistently and optimally.  For example, I know someone who bought a suite of productivity tools.  It included project management, customer management, calendars, reminders, etc. They had been paying for it for over a year.

Productivity and communication at work was not changing.  They thought maybe they needed a new system.

When I went to evaluate how they were using the system I found that:

  • the majority of the staff wasn’t using it at all.
  • minimal data was input and it wasn’t input consistently.
  • no training had occurred

Basically, they were getting, what they were giving…..not much in this case.

Our Health

We pay lip service to how important our health is to us.  Most people would put it on the list of what is most important to them.

Society as a whole wants to…….

……..lose weight.

……..look better.

……..feel better.

……..not be on a million prescriptions.

……..have energy……

and so on, and so forth.

Yet how many of us have eaten at a fast food restaurant in the last 24 hours.

How many of us have a piece of exercise equipment or a dumbbell or two laying around collecting dust?  Or worse yet, paid for a health club for months (I did for years) and never entered the building after the first week.

We don’t go to bed at a reasonable time….

We don’t eat right….

We drink too much….

But being healthy is a concern to all of us.

We get what we give.

Don’t Be Surprised

I don’t think this is an innovative concept.  I am not teaching anything new here.  I guess my reason for writing about it is because as a counselor I hear a lot of these stories.

And the surprise to me, is that people are surprised.

They are frustrated that after ten years of neglecting their relationships that can’t just go to the person and say “Okay you are right.  I  am sorry.   I will change.” and expect the person to ….

….believe them

….forgive and forget ten years in a day

….everything start back over with a clean slate

an instant “do over”.

They are surprised when they throw out the old system, that didn’t work because no one was using it, and buy a new shinier system….

….people still don’t use it

….productivity still doesn’t change

….and that they can’t just throw money at it.

And the most surprising, is the surprise I hear, from people that are tired of not feeling well.  They are tired of not having energy, having back pain, headaches or chest pains…..yet,

…..they don’t exercise

…..don’t go to sleep at a reasonable time

…..drink 10 diet cokes a day

… fast food in their car in 6 minutes

and basically, don’t understand that…

we get what we give!

But just like everything else in life, the answers are in the bible.  Among many things the bible is an encyclopedia of how we should live.

God makes it clear….we are to love others as He loves us and we are to treat others how we want to be treated.

Our bodies are God’s temple.  This is where the Holy Spirit resides.

Everything we do should glorify God.

As a matter of fact, in God’s economy, most things are backwards.

Think about it….

We should give what we get….(from Him!)

Reader Interactions


  1. Chris Patton says

    Loren, I agree with you…I think the same thing. Of course, when I realize how often I “think” that and how seldom I act on it, I’m reminded of Matthew 15:16. “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them.

  2. S_Miley says

    Yes, I agree with both of you, Chris and Loren, and it is amazing to me that when I do act God is always so faithful and shows up in it all! Thank you God for your mercy and grace!

  3. Michael Calogero says

    Balancing family, work, health, and relationships – it’s so important, yet often difficult, if not impossible, to achieve – until we seek God’s perspective. Through daily time in God’s word, we can listen to what God puts on our heart. Only when we seek Him with all our heart will we begin to come to know Him. We can learn from the one who created us, who knows each of us, individually, and who loves each of us uniquely. God knows what’s good for us, even moreso than we ourselves do. Thank God that He is so good, and merciful, and gracious; He is our sufficiency, our help in time of trouble, and the one who is the giver of all good things.
    Your article is simple – you get what you give, in every area of our lives.
    Thanks for the reminder; and please pray for me, for balance in the areas of my life that I most need it – work / family / health. Thanks again.
    Michael C.

    • S_Miley says

      I will definitely pray for you Michael. Having a private practice myself, offers the temptation to work too much because people have so many needs. Sometimes it is hard to remember in the moment that friends and family do too. Plus we need rest! For me, I just have to remember that God has many other people he can work through besides me! Thanks for your comments. It helped me think through this on a different level!

  4. Laurie@Gift Baskets for Women says

    Very good post. The verse also comes to mind in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” This may be referring to financial giving, but I think it also can carry over to giving of our time, talents and efforts.

    Thanks for sharing this.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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