Love isn’t transactional
I work and I earn money. I save it, and then I spend it on something I want or I need. In the end, the money acts as an unemotional agent to purchase what I desire.
I notice in relationships, and especially my relationship with God I think my good deeds and actions are my impartial agent to ‘purchase’ what I desire. For me, that could be the feeling that God loves me and wants me. It could be so that he’ll be more apt to do something I desire.
I notice when I think this way that in the end I feel empty, and that I’m batting at the wind. If I do enough things for a person, spend enough money, fudge my boundaries, or anything else, maybe that will be enough for them. The problem is, I am always in debt to the other person. It’s a debt that I’ve either made up or that they have held against me. I can’t win against that. I earn and I earn only to have to earn more later.
It’s sort of like college loans 😉
I’m always working trying to earn enough so that I have enough to feel like I can ask for something. It is tiring and exhausting.
The beauty of God’s love is that it isn’t unfeeling like money. It doesn’t do transactions either. His love is purely action. It loves me no matter the way I think about Him. In my simple ways of processing His love, He consistently shows me how vibrant and rich it is. I can relax, decompress, and don’t feel like I have to perform around Him. I can be myself, for good and for bad. His love remains the same. I feel like I have wings of freedom because my heart isn’t bound by performance. The burden of trying to be someone else, or even a version of myself that appears to be better than I really am, is gone.
With the example of the way Jesus loves me, I can love others in the same way. It’s a process to learn, but if I can show others that love with me isn’t transactional. I can show them an example of Jesus. I can begin to show them how He loves me. I can show them that they don’t have to earn my love, it’s already there waiting for them to experience it.