Loving without Expectations
My church has within the last few months begun asking church members to blog after a sermon, assigning a different person each week, to share how God is "messing with you" after hearing the sermon I was assigned this week. It sure is difficult writing with my name attached to it with people in real life reading it. It makes it much harder to be "transparent," but I am trying hard to let God grow me in this way and being brave. Here's what I wrote shared for the readers of this blog below. I pray God can use it to "mess with you."
In Luke 6:27-36, Jesus teaches us about “doing good” to those who hurt you. Jesus gives us concrete actions (love, do good, bless, pray, offer cheek, give, do so to them, lend, and be merciful) each which can take on a different meaning for each person based on life experiences. Those things seem easy to do until Jesus takes that a step further by connecting those actions with certain people (your enemies, those who curse, one who strikes, anyone who begs).
My first thought is, “who are my enemies” and I feel blessed and thankful to realize how rarely people are directly malicious to me. I am surrounded by wonderful people. But if I must choose, considering “those who have hurt me,” my mind goes directly to people I love who have rejected me. That is where the real hurt hits. I feel as if instead of being mean to me, people simply walk away from me, avoid me, and reject me. Not just any people, but people I love who won’t love me back. I yearn to repair that broken relationship, but am not sure how to do it. I want so badly to do all that it takes to show love, but the lack of response makes it hard for me.
Then I feel convicted by God’s Word. “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil” Luke 6:35. When I make an effort to reach out to those whom I love that have rejected me, do I expect something in return? Yes! I admit it! I do! I expect them to respond and for that brick wall to come tumbling down. My doubt that the wall will tumble causes me to hit that pause button. Expectation merely leads to hurt and that pain in the heart when my expectation is not met. It’s time to shed that doubt through a change of attitude towards expectation and just do it because Jesus first loved me.
I will never give up on people I love. My love is unbending. Determination resides in my heart. However, God’s working on an attitude adjustment in my heart this week. An adjustment to change from expectation to hopefulness, to erase all doubt, and unclick that pause button.