People are not business transactions. I’ve been realizing lately how much I disagree with the word ‘to offer’ when used in the context of people’s gifts, abilities, and relationships. You hear this all the time. You can attend seminars on how to not waste your gifts. College is full of messages on discovering what you have to offer the world. When considering relationships, we often ask “what do I have to offer?” or “what does he/she have to offer me?”
As if we were given gifts like wisdom, hospitality, or beauty, merely to see what we could get in exchange for them. Or that their only value lies in what you can get for them.
Exchanging. Instead of money, we offer the only the we have, ourselves. To our friends, to our families, to our world.
So we get lost in this game of trying to have enough. Our value becomes defined by what we do and we find we’re not engaging in communities, we’re running through a maze of business transactions where if you give me A, I’ll give you B.
Love is not an equation, where if you put in this, you’ll get out that. There is not a list of steps and there are no requirements. Love is beautiful because it has no expectations. No definitions. No pricetag.
I can’t earn love by being beautiful. I can’t earn love by being the funniest, or the most self-confident, the smartest, or the most servant hearted. I can’t gain the world’s approval by climbing the corporate ladder, by volunteering the most, or by a long string of successes.
Those things are always wiped away. Beauty fades, trends change. If we keep trying to give and give and earn and earn, we’ll grow exhausted. We’ll lose ourability to use our talents the way we were meant to. When ablity becomes currency, it is no longer ability. When love beomes a tradable substance, its lost the core of what made it love.
So stop asking what you have to offer. Stop trying to earn what rightful should already be given. What has been given. If God doesn’t ask us to earn his love, why do we try to earn others? Or ask them to earn ours?
What is good enough?