Thursday, 1 September 2016

The cost of unconditional giving/loving and growing into maturity in the church?

We give and we give and we give - expecting something in return and when that something in return doesn’t come, whether it be appreciation, honour, finances, time, recognition, whatever it may that hurts our heart, then we tend to move away from those relationships because they are just using us, or we feel like we are being used.  And yet God says in His word “Give, not expecting anything in return”.
How do we do that when we are feeling hurt, used, abused, wanted only for what we may have to give, it is not a two way relationship and yet is that not what Jesus did on the cross, gave and gave and gave and everyone walked away from him, disowned him on the cross as he poured out his life for a people who didn’t deserve it, who didn’t recognise what he gave them, who didn’t honour him?

It’s a hard call but it is a call where we learn what true love really means and actually that most of us live from conditional love without even realising it as we live in a world where we can just walk away from those people in our lives where this becomes an issue.  But if the Lord is one of reconciliation and restoration, unity, of family, of laying down your life for another then we would see less of broken families, broken marriages, depressed and suicidal people because our love for one another would break these issues that are so prevalent in our society down as we show unconditional love to one another, acceptance, value, honour all the things people are truely wanting and searching for.

And yet something I have struggled with of late in stepping into ‘church’, where is the point of encouraging people in maturity and growing up so that they are no longer remaining on milk because like children in family, when they are young they just take and take and take yet when they become adults they start to contribute to the house, they start to take an active part in the family, in the house and bring their gifts and talents, their finances into the house to help with the expenses.  The parents no longer bear the weight of continually giving  and covering the costs with children taking, but the children recognise and start to contribute.  So at what point do children have to leave home in order to recognise and value the home in which they come from - or do they?  At which point do the parents need to encourage the children and if nothing is forth coming or changes into maturity happen, to encourage them to move on so that they learn the lessons that they need to learn?  And yet remain in unconditional love towards those ones?  And in the encouragement to leave home for their benefit to remain in relationship and love toward them because like any parent you want your children to remain as you love them so much and it breaks your heart to bring a discipline that may hurt them and you and yet always believing the best?

For me as a parent my daughter has moved to another city and she is growing up, she is having to take care of her own finances, she is having to cook and clean, be responsible, all the things you were wanting and desiring her to step into at home and which she did to a level but not as much as I wanted or hoped for but in leaving home she is growing into maturity in these things and our relationship together is growing and at a better level of understanding where when they are young they ‘know it all’, they are always right, they don’t listen often to the parents because their parents don’t know anything and there doesn’t seem to be much respect for the parents and yet now is coming understanding and respect and a listening to the advice given.

So in all of this I guess patience plays a huge part as we learn to love unconditionally, as we give and give and not expecting anything in return remembering that in due time we will reap a harvest.  That every seed sown will bear fruit, that our labour in the Lord is not in vain and so I encourage you to keep giving, even when it costs you, to keep loving and serving, even when it is not returned in the natural when you would desire it, it will surely come.  And as we serve, as we love, we are not serving or loving unto man but unto the Lord who is our great reward, who sees our heart and our hurts.  Who will be in the one in which our greatest reward comes as we look to him and not to man or put expectation on man because when we trust in the Lord we will be blessed in ways that will far outweigh what we will receive from man.