I’ve heard so many people talk about how we are not to do anything expecting in return, but are to do it from our hearts as God would want us to. Agreed! However, today, I want to share a different perspective to challenge you as well. Don’t get me wrong, God calls us to be cheerful givers (2 Corinthians 9:6), whether that’s monetary giving or giving of our time and energy, however, we also have to be wise and have discernment in circumstances.
My short reflection involves what God showed me this morning on mutual exchange. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word mutual means (of a feeling or action) experienced or done by each of two or more parties towards the other or others. Exchange means an act of giving one thing and receiving another (especially of the same kind) in return. That phrase, mutual exchange, comes from a thought I had on having a balance in relationships. Where each of two or more give and receieve, receive and give. Balance! It made me reflect back on those who expect, expect, and expect. It had me thinking about those who may not even realize that they come across as ungrateful. Then, there are some who do give (whether it’s of their time or something else), but they do it with a complaining spirit, frustrated, or in a rush. I thought of how the word reminds us to, Do to others as you would have them do to you in Luke 6:31. In Matthew 7:12, it says, So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
So in short, you can take away two perspectives from this. One, challenge yourselves to do unto others what you want for yourselves. Clap for others in their successes, as they clap for you. Be there for them, celebrate them, show love and support, the same way you would want in return. Do it with a cheerful heart instead of making them feel like a chore or something you HAVE to squeeze in. Then, second, evaluate your life. It’s good to give and be there for those who need us, but not at the cost of someone taking advantage of us. Feelings and actions should feel mutual. There is always someone or something else that could use all God has called us to be somewhere else. There is someone or something else that can use your love, support, and gifts and appreciate them and show you a mutual exchange. That mutual exchange doesn’t necessarily have to be what you poured in, but when you’re in Christ, you will sense it’s their portion.
God bless and don’t forget to put in your mutual exchange today, for God calls us to do unto others as we would want them to do unto us!