It feels good to make someone’s day or to meet a need that changes someone’s life. The joy of making someone smile is priceless. We give ourselves freely because our reward is their joy.
We are taught to help others because it is good and right to do so, not because of what we can get from it. When we help from selfish motives, good might be done but we are not practicing love. Love is not self-seeking. I helped you now you owe me!
But this does not mean that love does not have its rewards – a payoff to deeply desire and cherish. The payoff of love is the joy of the beloved.
For instance, the joy of a child who is truly happy is beyond precious to a parent. Sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and hard talks were not endured for the cards, cakes, or celebration dinners. These things are nice, but not what love seeks.
Love seeks the reward of joy.
Likewise, when we generously offer ourselves for the good of others, we are not seeking thanks or affirmations per se. Again, these would be nice. And we might even long to receive other’s love in this way. But it is not the motivation of our love. The motivation of our love is to bring goodness to others, and our payment is their joy. And their joy is priceless.
Doing something just because generally does not keep us engaged for long. We want to know our actions matter and will have some sort of payoff. However, desiring to see the fruit of our love is not self-seeking. This is how God has designed things – to experience the good from what we have offered.
Practice love and let the joy you bring be your reward. This is priceless.