Imagine a year where everyone does, with no expectations of a return. Long gone are the days of I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. A world where everybody does, for the benefit of the other.
Sounds a little like a world that’s a distant from our current day. Yet, isn’t this the very world that we are told to live in; ‘to love thy neighbour as themselves’ to serve one another?
So why does everything have a price tag attached to it?
A Transactional World
Our world has transformed the way in which we see love and the way in which we give it. Transactions are no longer just between a business and its consumer, we have now made loving and accepting transactional between each other.
Interactions are now increasingly governed by what we can gain from one another, how we add value and the value we can derive from each other. Don’t get me wrong- this isn’t all bad, and in some cases, relationships thrive of this two sided nature.
However, imagine a world where LOVE is not transactional. Where we can give love without expectations. Where we can show grace without resentment down the track and where compassion is our default.
After all, isn’t that what Jesus did. He loved with no expectations for us to love Him back. He gave us grace without resenting us when we sinned again. Where even in our brokenness He has shown compassion beyond measure. So why do we struggle to reflect this in our interactions?
To serve which purpose?
Like a businessman in the midst of the rat race- we let our gain override our purpose, we let the wealth of what we receive increase our selfish motives without a glimpse of what the other person may be feeling. Sooner or later we forget about relationship building and just focus on what we receive from each interaction and person.
Worse off, when we don’t get what we want from that person, we then write off the relationship, or choose to invest less in it as it does not serve our purposes. Sooner or later we use our relationships to serve ourselves as opposed to serving others.
To love with no expectations is to love with a selfless heart. It is to love thy neighbour and honour them as oneself- making the relationship about serving them and not us, and in the process we find that these relationships are deeper, more meaningful and in the long run serve us better than the transactional relationships we think we need.
Love with vs without expectations
Imagine if this year you choose to love with no expectations. What would that look like for your spouse? Your family? Your friends? Your work friends?
Love with exceptions leads to hurt, which leads to resentment which leads to distance and poison in the heart. Let it fester and sooner or later you are one bitter person with no deep and meaningful relationships.
Being rich in relationship is not about how many friends you have, its about how many people you can show love to even when it’s challenging and when you gain nothing from it.
Love without expectations leads to rich relationships, which leads to learnings and growth, with leads to more friends, which leads to those friends wanting to love you back with no expectations attached.
I’ve never really been a new years resolution setter, but here’s an attitude I want to embrace this year - ‘A year of no transactional loving.’ A year of saying ‘I choose to love everybody always without thinking about what I’m going to get.’
I once was told - ‘You may be the only bible that some people read’ – which has always held me accountable to my actions.
With this quote in mind, how do we reflect God and His word to those who don’t know him? Well, a good place to start is to love them with no expectations.
Araina Kazia Pereira from Wellington, New Zealand is a published writer having written for various outlets and most recently joining as a Press Service International young writer. She enjoys asking the big questions and writing about the challenging questions that she has wrestled with in her own journey, as well as her learnings along the way. You can contact her at email@example.com.