– At some point in life I decided that doing things for others should be done without expectation of any reciprocation. For me, this was the best attitude to have toward helping others.
In reflecting, I think in part it’s because I’m a little selfish. I don’t want to risk feeling that someone owes me something because I did something for them of my own accord. In other words, I don’t want to risk feeling angry or overly disappointed if, for some reason, they are unwilling or can’t help me at a later date.
Rather than calling it selfish, a better word might be “guarded” as in guarding my heart. By purposely deciding ahead of time that nothing is owed due to my effort, not even as much as a simple thank you, my heart is guarded against potential bitterness or disappointment.
By extending help without any expectation of reciprocation, I’m actually protecting my heart from becoming bitter should the situation arise when I could use some help and can’t seem to get it. I remind myself, “I am owed nothing,” which helps me stop my thoughts from going down that bitter path of anger and disappointment. Instead, I trust that God will provide for me if I need it, and then I let it go and dismiss it from my mind.
One thing for sure, whatever my real motivation, I’ve never regretted when I’ve had the opportunity and took the time to help others. That’s always a win for me.