You go the extra mile. You reach out and give beyond what you thought you should give, and yet, there’s nothing in return, or at least not the return you expected. Have you been there with a friend, a family member, a spouse? We all have, and some of us seem to live in a place where we resent people’s lack of gratitude more than we appreciate our relationship with them.
It’s difficult to be completely altruistic. It’s not in our human nature. Deep within we are always having the inner conversation that says, “what am I getting out of this?” We do it with God all the time in our bargaining prayers: “God if you let me have such and such, I promise I’ll do ____” And so we do it with people we love; people we wish would love us back with the same intensity, appreciation and commitment. That seldom happens.
So today I’m going to try as hard as I can to set my reasonable as well as my unreasonable expectations aside and see what happens. I’m going to love those around me because I’m being loved by God. I’m going to let them off my relational “hook” and give it a try. Could God’s love for me be enough, even for a day? Sounds rhetorical, but it’s a real question.
What would happen if we lowered our expectations for those around us and raised our expectations for how we serve them?