No Strings Attached

Estimated reading time: 4 minute(s)

This was originally posted April 19th, 2010. It could easily have been posted in 2013, so I am re-posting it today. It continues the theme of how we interact, how we relate.

Speaking of which … off to the next visit! 🙂

I just need to get something off my chest.

I’ve been thinking about it for a while, following conversations and interactions with friends and acquaintances. I’ve also noticed it even more generally in our culture, the way we all interact with each other. I think it probably supersedes our culture, and is even more of a human nature issue.

But you need to know, I’m different.

I don’t really know why—oh, I’ve spent plenty of time thinking on that subject as well, to no avail… but this is not about how strange I am (at least, not really) it’s more about how I feel about you, in general—all I know is what I am about to tell you.

You don’t owe me anything.

When I do something for you*, I don’t expect you to reciprocate. (In any fashion, and certainly not in like manner. We are all different, after all…) If I make you a meal, I’m not looking for one in return. If I watch your kids while you get a break with your spouse, I am not keeping track of how many times you have done the same for me. If I help move something, or fix something at your house, I’m not expecting any sort of compensation or reciprocal manual labor.

I’m just not. 🙂

I think it’s our nature (and our experience) to expect there are strings attached, but I can say with complete honesty and certainty that there are never strings attached to anything I do. I am not trying to get anything from you. I have no expectations. Only, perhaps, that we might enjoy a bit of life together. (And continue to do so.)

I hope it’s OK that sometimes I project that on you. Sometimes it’s rather difficult for me to even think that you might entertain the thought that I have any level of expectations or requirements of you. That there are any obligatory social etiquette codes that I am presuming you will meet.

I’m just not. So relax. Enjoy any invitation I extend to you. Please accept and receive gratefully any gift or service I would offer to you. (But, I won’t be offended if you don’t, even if you don’t say, “Thank you.”)

I just want you to feel worth being loved.

See, we read in the new testament that, “We love because he first loved us.” And, I think in context that meant that we love God because he first loved us. But I think it also means that we can love each other because of how we have been loved. Not because it’s owed us, or in any way merited … other than the fact that we are loveable. We’re worth being loved, being treated kindly, being given gifts of any kind. Just because we are.

And that is how I see you.

I don’t need anything from you, except just to enjoy the no-strings-attached relationship. You can ask me for anything you need, and I’ll try to help you out. (I’ll also say no if I can’t, so don’t think that I’ll feel any obligation to say yes—or be in any way guilted into complying against my better judgement.)

Jen asked me this week how I “serve.” She said it seems like an important thing to a lot of believers, and she, having a notion of what that looks like—and we, not often looking like that notion—wondered what I thought about that, how I lived that out.

I was taken aback slightly as I just don’t ever think about it really. I guess I’m not in the soup kitchens on the weekend, nor going on short term mission trips to help erect or repair buildings. But I don’t feel like I am ever not serving. It’s just who I am. “Consider others better than yourselves,” is a phrase I repeat often to my children, hoping they will—through my further instruction—learn the value of esteeming others more than themselves. It’s what Jesus did, who he was and is.

It’s the heart of a servant.

So, I’m really not (in any way) trumpeting ME … rather I want you to know that if you have any personal interaction with me, I have absolutely no requirements of you. I love you. 🙂 I can say that because you are a Creation of the Creator and I know how much he loves you (because I know how much he loves me!)

I hope you’ll accept that from me, and enjoy being loved.

Whew! Glad I finally go that off my chest!

See y’all soon! 🙂

* Being self employed, and in many ways, gaining income from well… me (my services, talents, and abilities) it must be noted that sometimes I might “do something for you” and expect compensation. However, that is in the context of a business transaction, and would be understood up front. Of course I am only talking here about things we would do for a friend or neighbor (or even an enemy, I guess) … not a business transaction. 🙂


    1. Already looking forward to the next time I can create some more “yumminess of wonder” to share with you guys! 🙂 You’ll have to join us this year for Food Fest IV! (See here for the background story…)


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