The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. ~Samuel Johnson
Good ... a good word for today. Yet it feels a bit "off," as Good Friday commemorates Jesus' crucifixion and death at Calvary. Not exactly the most pleasant thoughts to carry with you throughout the day, I decided to focus on the Good.
During Jesus' life, He constantly treated all He encountered with love and compassion - even, and especially, when they could not give Him or do anything for Him in return. To the end, he lived forgiveness, assuring the man on the cross next to him that he would be with Him in Paradise.
How often in our lives do we do things for those who can't in any way begin to "pay us back?" Why is it that we say to people, "I owe you one," or "you owe me one instead of giving or receiving freely?" Why do we expect, at the very least, gratitude in exchange for the good things we do for others? How often to we ask or think, "what's in it for me" before volunteering to do something? Is this the way we should live?
I've been trying for some time to do good with gratitude, and not expect anything at all in return; to do things simply because they are the good and kind thing to do; and to be at peace with not getting recognition for the things I do, instead knowing that I did them with joy and that they are appreciated.
Instead of wanting a pat on my back from my husband for cleaning and organizing and shopping and scheduling and the myriad other things I do for our family, I reflect on my days, knowing that the good in what I did is all that matters. Rather than expecting thank yous from my kids for making dinner, I look at their happy faces as we enjoy the meal together. Instead of ranting and raving over dishes and clothing and...and...and left around the house, I pick up the things on my way to where they belong and thank God I have people in my life to pick up after. Well, at least I try to, that is. Some days are better than others.
Don't get me wrong, hearing a thank you is nice, but I no longer see it as necessary. The gratitude for the good lives within me.
"...the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because he loves us." C.S. Lewis