I admit to being consumed with reciprocation in my relationships. Everything has to be 50/50….I find myself only giving what I’m getting and then realizing that even that is not enough. The fact of the matter is…it could never be enough because that’s not the way God has structured relationships.
The reality is that people give according to their own life reference and their abililty to handle a situation. There are times in a relationship (whether romantic, friendly, or work-related) where you might be required to give more on a given day. Some days it might be 70/30 and other days might be 60/40 or 80/20. It’s the balance that creates the wholeness.
I’ve found that to be very difficult. If you’ve been in hurtful relationships like I have…you almost become paranoid. You find yourself walking in a fear of being hurt and you spend your time doing one of two thing… either anticipating the person’s next move in order to get “one up” on them…before they get “one up” on you…..OR you analyze everything a person says or does…finding (or more like creating) ways that they are trying to take advantage of you.
This makes relationships very challenging because the reality is…noone can win. A relationship cannot be healthy if you hold back out of some wierd kind of fear. It surely can’t be healthy if your holding back manifests itself by you nitpicking someone to death… all because you are afraid of what they MIGHT be doing and you think you have some kind of control over them accomplishing it.
It’s really selfish in a way. You become consumed by what everyone is doing to you that you are blinded by what your behavior might be doing to them. Everything becomes about you and your feelings. You take everything personal. You are never wrong.
How are we trusting God when we try to manipulate our circumstances, situations, and relationships to keep from being hurt? Actually, I think we get in His way. He wants to heal us of our hurts and give us the gift of fellowship and beautiful covenant relationships but our fear keeps us bound and never able to fully experience that. So God is a gentleman. He steps back and let’s handle it…He let’s have control…Until of course, we realize that we don’t have the power to stop anyone from hurting us. Even in our anticipatory manipulation, we never really keep those hurts from coming to us. In actuality, we probably open the door to hurt and abuse simply because we are out of the will of God; because we haven’t surrendered it to him. The reciprocation we long for generally comes when it alone is not the motive for our giving.
God requires us to walk in love…not for the benefit of others but for our benefit. To teach us to give of ourselves because of our love and trust in God…and not, necessarily, in man.
I’m working on it.