livinglifefully.com

July 7

It is not how much we do, but
how much love we put in the doing.
It is not how much we give, but
how much love we put in the giving.

Mother Teresa

  

Today's Meditation:

I always have a very hard time with this concept:  even if I think I'm doing something with love as my major motivation, am I really?  It's very easy to do things because we want them to turn out as we think they should, or because we'll benefit in some way from what's done.  Even in giving, it's easy to fall into the trap of giving because it makes us feel good rather than giving because we truly want to show love to the recipients.

So what criteria can we use to know that we're actually doing or giving something out of love?  How can we examine our motives to figure out just why we're doing what we're doing?  And what motives are those inspired by love?

I think that in the end, it's a question of our thoughts being solely on the needs of the recipient.  It's important that we keep in mind the fact that the recipients of our actions have definite needs, and if it's within our power to meet those needs to a certain degree--without thinking a bit of the effect of our actions on ourselves--then we may just be putting love into what we do.  And if we can shift our mindset to always be focused on the needs of others, then it becomes a simple fact that all that we do and give is a result of love.

We all know people who claim to do things for others, but who are motivated more by self-interest than by the desire to help or by love.  And if we think that we don't want to be like them, then it's important that we remain clear about our own motives and actions, so that we can continue to act and give out of love, which is the purest form of motivation of all.

Questions to consider:

What does it mean to you to do something with love?

How do other motivating factors work their ways into the things that we do for and give to others?

How might you keep your focus strongly on love when you're doing what you're doing in your life?

For further thought:

You can give without loving, but
you cannot love without giving.

Amy Carmichael
 

   

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