Has the government been regulating the airways to provide extra ‘smooth flying’ for Qantas? Has Qantas provided complimentary business class passage for government politicians?… Will we ever know?
We get a little heated and cynical about this sort of thing. After all, we citizens try and do the right thing. However, when we do something for someone else – i.e., give them a compliment, offer to help with a job, or invite them to dinner – and it is not reciprocated, we take offence.
This means that whatever good thing we did was not done out of the goodness of our heart. It was a favour expecting a kickback: “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”! We nurse these offences, the resentment builds, and eventually we payback – i.e., snub them, no longer offer to help, or move them to the ‘uninvited’ list.
Love in the Bible is loving with no need of anything in return; it is loving just for the heck of it! (Luke 14:12-14) Why? Because that is how God has loved us. When we hated God, that’s just when He loved us the most; Jesus Christ died for us to give us salvation and fullness of life – the most loving gift in the universe (Romans 5:6-11).
The secret is that this kind of love will bring the greatest possible response of love, not because it expects a return, but precisely because it doesn’t. It is the most winsome thing.
We have been loved, and so can love, like that.
Grace upon grace, Jonathan.