When we give to others, we can sometimes be tempted to do it because we want to get something back. Perhaps we’re in need of some encouragement, so we compliment others hoping they will give us a compliment back. Perhaps we want someone to do something nice for us, so we go out of our way to do something nice for them first. Any kind of relationship with another person should be two-way. We should give, and they should give. But we need to be checking our motives. As we become more like Jesus, we’ll realise that we need to be selfless in our giving. We need to be serving others because it’s what Jesus would do, not because we want something back. Jesus said: ‘Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great’ (Luke 6:35 NIV). He sees everything we do for others, and He sees the attitude we do it with. The Bible says, ‘Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.’ Being selfless doesn’t mean we never speak up about our needs, or take time for ourselves. It means we make sure we’re thinking of the other person, and their needs. It means we do what we can to meet their needs and support them, without expecting them to do it in return. However, we need to avoid being taken for granted. It’s clear when people are using us, or when they don’t care for our wellbeing. If the other person isn’t recognising our needs, we might need to pray about whether we should remain as close to them. God can give us wisdom in all our relationships.
Next time you feel like you need encouragement, turn to God rather than other people.
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