“Love is giving willingly of whatever I have to meet someone’s need.” I can almost hear someone reacting, “Wait a minute! That might be a partial definition of love. But what about the deep feelings, the driving emotional mood that is also supposed to accompany love. This definition leaves that part out.”
There is an unspoken expectation that is associated with love. This human assumption is that when you love there are huge emotional benefits that make love something good for you. When you say you love someone, your natural self is expecting good things to happen to you because of your “love”. Imagine Christmases, anniversaries, Valentine’s Days where you were the only one doing the sacrificial giving. You spent hours, even days, thinking of just the right gift. Your “love” stopped by the super market, found a gift card from a store you don’t even like and bought some flowers that looked as though they hadn’t been watered in months. You get the point — your “love” carries the expectation of reciprocation.
Your natural self loves the idea of love, and always asks, “What’s in it for me?”
Thankfully, this was not a question that Jesus asked. Instead his concern was, “What’s in it for God?”