I was reading my Bible verse for the day. It's a verse that most of us are familiar with, Luke 6:35-36. It states "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return;..."
The thought hit me as I was reading this that we usually think of giving to people and not expecting to be paid back. We should give and not expect that they are going to repay us. We know that we don't give a friend a coat and expect in the future to get a coat back or even some item of equal value. We give, and we don't expect anything back...or do we?
How often have you found yourself in the situation of doing something good for someone, sometimes multiple times only to find ourselves hurt by that person, or treated poorly by that person. Even if you don't throw it up to them you might find yourself thinking "But I treated you so well. I did this for you...I gave this to you...and you're not even going to treat me right?" It's happened to me a time or two, I will admit. The hurt of knowing that you did good for someone only to be repaid with unkindness, hurt, or betrayal.
We do give and treat someone well with the expectations of getting something back...a returned kindness. And sometimes we just have to accept that we won't get that. We can't expect that. If we read the later part of that verse that often isn't included it goes on to state "and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High;..." So it is saying that God will be happy with us. It also says "for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men." Ah, there it is. We often forget the second point to that verse. It's saying that we shouldn't expect anything in return...not even kind treatment.
We shouldn't even EXPECT a simple 'thank you'. This is a part that steps on my toes as well. We should give happily to someone who might even curse us to our face, or that we know talks about us like a dog behind our back. Even someone who we know flat out hates us. Instead we are to give and do good even to our enemies and even to people who we know won't appreciate it. We need to give because it's the right thing to do, even if it will not soften someone's heart toward us. Realizing that expectations aren't just monetary or items, we need to clear our minds and hearts of all expectations including expectations for the return of kindness.