I feel unsettled by the resentment. I don't want to feel resentful. Why do I begrudge these requests?
It's because this is not a reciprocal relationship. I can't look to one thing this woman has ever done for me. In fact, she's been sort of mean to me. It's a lot easier for me to be kind to people that are kind to me. I am happy to do favors for people that are happy to do favors for me.
I want to be good. I want to have charity for others. When I am serving people that serve me, is that charity?
No, that is basically bartering.
H. Burke Peterson said this:
Too often, charity is extended to another when his actions or conduct are acceptable to us. The exhibition of charity to another must not be dependent on his performance.In the Bible, we find:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind. (1 Corinthians 13:4)That's how I want to be.
This week, over dinner, Ammon gave me advice. He is always willing to help me and give me advice and make me an end table. (Which I haven't moved into the house yet. I'm waiting for my knee to heal so I have more mobility for such pursuits.) When we parted ways, I said, "If you ever need advice, Ammon, you let me know."
I was just being facetious because I'm not sure what advice I could ever give Ammon. Ammon and I have maybe a non reciprocal relationship too. He does a lot of stuff for me and I occasionally give him a loaf of homemade bread, which seems like a small reimbursement.
I'm not sure if the mixture of enthusiastic adoration and torture he got as the youngest of six children made him this way or if he is so good in spite of us, but Ammon makes me want to be more Christ-like.
Next time I will try to give a less resentful yes.