We live in a world that is driven on gift economy, which is the idea that valuables are given with an implicit agreement for future reward for the giver. This idea often pervades our personal relationships from parent-child to romantic to friends. We often give in the expectation of receiving. That is not how God designed relationships.
Unfortunately, most of the pressure to measure my success by my romantic relationships comes from within Christian circles. We have unwittingly adopted a theology of prosperity when truly our collective Christian creeds teach a theology of accompaniment.
...meeting my spouse will indeed be a miracle as I've jokingly said for years. Anyone ever getting together is a legitimate miracle!
If people aren’t happy with our best effort, there’s nothing that we can give that’s going to make them happy. And if we are not happy with the best effort that others give us, there's nothing that others can give us that's going to make us happy.
Jesus welcomes the lost son home happily with a feast, finds the lost coin with rejoicing, and takes back the lost sheep with joy. Jesus's mercy is abundant, and our goal is to imitate that absurdly abundant mercy to one another.
Though I've seen donated livers malfunction again and again due to detrimental behaviors, seeing yet another wasted, abused, mistreated donated liver is where I learned true gift.
Instead of requiring high school students to read The Diary of Anne Frank, the United States could have served as asylum for her. Are we denying asylum to the Syrian Anne Frank?