As I Have Loved You

Page No.4
Expect Nothing in Return

After Jesus told us to love our enemies, He also said “…lend, expecting nothing in return.” Many people have looked at this phrase, and have taken it at its literal face value, as if to say that if we lend money or a material possession to someone, we ought to just forget about it, and not expect anything back. Now it is true that Jesus did discuss giving in this section of Scripture, so a very literal meaning could not be far off. But recall that the Bible will often use money, lending, and borrowing metaphorically to make a point.

For example, monetary debt is often used in the New Testament as a picture of forgiveness, as we’ll see in the next article. So, although “lend, expecting nothing in return” could be applied very literally to bankers and other money lenders, it really has a much broader application to all of us. Think of why so many people in this world are bitter, for example. They’ll do something nice for someone else, but then never get thanked, never get the favor returned, or never have any appreciation shown towards them. In other words, they’ve done a good deed, but expected something in return, and got upset when nothing was done in return for them. Jesus tells us not to expect anything in return, so that we are truly giving. There are no strings attached. When we do things Jesus’ way, our gifts to others will truly be free, and we’ll be free from the bondage of bitterness when we expect to be paid back in full and aren’t.

As is the case with loving our enemies, Jesus said that we will be greatly rewarded if we put this attitude into practice in our lives. On the other hand, Jesus said, “And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, in order to receive back the same amount.” (Luke 6:34) When we start living a life according to God’s standards of giving and receiving, by expecting nothing in return, then we’re living up to our high calling.

As I Have Loved You
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