Bee or Wasp, Give or Take?

There is a biblical principle that says to give and it shall be given back to you, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be given back to you. It is also summed up by, you reap what you sow, or by the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” Others call it Karma. Whatever verbiage you use, it remains to be true.

A number of years ago my pastor taught an interesting lesson. He discussed the differences between bees and wasps. Despite how similar they appear, they have one very distinct difference. Yes, they both can be black and yellow and fly around. Yes, they are both capable of stinging a person. Yes, they both have hives, and yes, they both like flowers. But that is where their primary likenesses end.  

What separates them is not how they appear but what they do, or do not do. As a bee drinks nectar from flowers, the flower’s pollen sticks to their hairy bodies. As the bee flies from flower to flower, pollen falls off of their bodies causing the pollination process to occur. If you have ever seen The Bee Movie (I’m a dad, kid’s movies are my references), the bees no longer needed to produce honey and therefore no longer needed to leave the hive. Since they were no longer flying from flower to flower the flowers were no longer getting pollinated and started dying. Whether a bee intends to be or not to be (sorry, I couldn’t resist), bees are givers. They are useful. By doing what they were created to do, produce honey, they provide a very necessary service for nature and mankind.


Wasps on the other hand offer nothing. They are carnivores. They may drink nectar but lack the hairy body to carry pollen and thus, give nothing back. They take and take and take and produce nothing. The only thing they give are stings. I remember when I was a teenager. We owned a pool and I was swimming on a gorgeous hot day. I got out of the pool to walk around to the diving board when a yellow jacket wasp dive-bombed me and stung me on my arm. It literally swiped me with its stinger as if slashing me with a sword. I remember the small cut it gave me on my arm. It really ticked me off. From that day forward I have a personal mission to exterminate any wasp that comes near me.


The analogy can work with people too. They may look the same and even go through motions causing them to appear to be doing the same things. But as my pastor said, there are those who live the Golden Rule, who receive much because they first give much. These are people who have developed a mindset of service to humanity. When these people enter rooms, they bring light with them. They are a refreshing drink of water on a hot and dry day. As they live their day to day lives they fly from one life-flower to the next, pollenating each one with love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, and hope. If a need comes to the surface, these are people quick to lend a helping hand. And when the day comes for them to need a random act of kindness or have a specific need met, they are not short of people in their lives who are quick to reach out to them. They never lack support, because they never wear out their welcome.

Sadly, there is another biblical reference that embodies the second group.  

The leech has two daughters—
Give and Give!
There are three things that are never satisfied,
Four never say, “Enough!”:
The grave,
The barren womb,
The earth that is not satisfied with water—
And the fire never says, “Enough!”

Proverbs 30:15-16

 This second group may look like a bee, for it also flies from person to person. But the intention of their flying is not to give. Rather, their mindset is one that is always looking to have their own needs met. And they always have something they need. People cringe when they see this person’s name show up on their cell phone, asking themselves, “What do they want now?” Even their “good works” are tainted with selfish ambition and self-gratification. This group of people is always looking to capitalize on the efforts of others to achieve their personal goals.

Perhaps, the worst characteristic of someone who has joined the group of wasps, is that they genuinely do not even see their faults. The patterns created in their minds are so engrained that they simply seem normal. It comes across to them as perfectly logical to hitch their agenda to the efforts of someone else who was, “going to be headed that direction anyway.” They do not think they could be inconveniencing someone by casting their burden upon someone else, for “a deceived person does not know they are deceived.”

A wasp’s agenda is entirely about self. They produce nothing and consume much. A bee’s agenda is one that gives. In its pursuit of something worthy. A bee affects the lives of hundreds and even thousands throughout their lifetime. Even their consumption leads to the production of honey which in turn blesses the masses.

Which group do you belong to? Which group would you like to belong to? The wonderful thing about being human and not an insect is that we can change. If this blog helps open your eyes to the truth that you have been a taker rather than a giver, you can jump groups. Begin associating with bees. Find a new hive. Take in new information that is uplifting, edifying, encouraging, and based on truth. Take in the nectar of good books, especially the Good Book, and audios that prod you to be a better you. If you do not know where to go, I recommend emphatically that you get involved with LIFE Leadership. Be a bee. Be a giver. Be someone that pollenates the lives of people with love and everything good.



About Bryan Vashus

I am passionate about living a life of purpose. There is a purpose in being a spouse, a parent, a leader, and a person. I live in such a way as to fulfill the purpose in each area of my life and help others do the same. I have an amazing wife, Courtnee, who shares in this pursuit with me, two children, Hannah and Joshua, who bring immeasurable amounts of joy to my life. My family is united together in truly helping people and impacting them with the grace and love of God everywhere we go.
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