If you discover that one of your friends is having difficulty with something and you know that you can somehow help them with their problem, what would you do? More often than not, you would want to extend a helping hand to that friend. When we do good deeds for other people, we feel good about ourselves.
You and your expectations
What’s wrong with this scenario is that we are setting expectations. We are helping other people because we expect to get something in return. On one hand, it may seem harmless to expect some form of appreciation for doing good to others. But then again, there are times when the need for appreciation outweighs the genuine desire to help another person.
When hearing “thank you” becomes everything
When we help someone who is in need, the immediate gratification we seek is hearing a simple “thank you” from them. Hearing such words gratify us and make us and boosts our ego in some way because we feel that we are needed, we are important, we are valuable. And after all, saying “thank you” is a basic form of courtesy. But what happens if the person you helped failed to say these words to you? Most of us would make an issue out of it. We’ll think that the other person is ungrateful and lacks manners. We’ll think twice about helping them again in the future – only because they didn’t thank us for helping them out.
If this is how you usually react when another person fails to thank you for a good deed you did to them, then you should begin to ponder on why you helped that person in the first place. Was it really because you wanted to help? Or because you just craved to seek some for of validation from them? If you would rethink your motive, you would realize what your real reasons for helping are – and it’s not for the benefit of another person. You did it for yourself and not for others.
Not just about the material gains
In our contemporary times where bribery is a almost already part of the norn, it’s easy to assume that seeking for something in return when you help another person means acquiring financial or material gains. But while a lot of give and take relationships these days involve money, this does not necessarily mean that money and material gains alone are what you need to watch out for. In a nutshell, if your motives for helping another person is double-edged, then you’re only serving your own purpose.
What God wants you to understand
Being a good follower of God means being able to look into our own actions and assessing ourselves, where we stand, and why we do the things we do. This is the best way to understand our behavior towards others and correct them as necessary. Are you willing to change how you think about helping others and redirect your motives so that serves others more than it serves your own interests? The lesson we need to learn here is very simple. When we offer help or assistance to those who are in need, we should let go of our desire for appreciation and validation.
We should stop expecting anything in return; we should serve others in order to please God, not ourselves.
The act of giving and doing good without expecting anything in return