Yesterday, I sat around feeling sorry for myself, missing a good friend. Or, supposed good friend. He'd promised to stay in touch. He'd promised to still be here for me. And yet, he wasn't. He was gone. I was missing him, and quite certain that feeling wasn't reciprocated. And so I was sad. And a bit angry. And feeling a bit abandoned, betrayed and rejected.
This morning, it was no different. At first. Until I heard myself utter one phrase... "I keep giving, and get nothing."
And then it hit me.
I don't give - I take. I don't love - I expect.
I'm always preaching to people that love is not about expectations. If there are expectations, it isn't love. And yet here I was, expecting. And my giving? What I was giving were requests for his attention. Requests for him to affirm that he does care. Requests for his friendship and love, as if it were mine to request. My selfishness had taken control.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)Jesus does not love us conditionally. His love is not full of expectations. His only request - in which His love is not dependent upon us following - is that we love others as He loves us. We should not place expectations on the love we give others. Our love should be given freely, without strings - as our Lord has given us His love.