“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, Come Be My Light …
For many, this is a very difficult concept, one that is even tougher to put into practice. I always seem to find that even when I think I am doing something with love as the major motivation, there always is another contributing factor–whether it is that I want things to turn out as I think they should, or because there is some benefit in doing them or because I am obliged to. Even in my giving, it is easy to fall into the trap of doing so because of the rewards and obligations rather than because I truly want to show compassion, humility, friendship, and love.
So how do we know when what we are doing or giving is out of love? What benchmarks can we use to examine our motives so that we can figure out which are inspired by love, and which are not? I feel that it really is a question of whether or not our thoughts are solely on the needs of the recipient of our actions and our gifts. For to do so is to keep in mind the fact that the recipient has definite needs, and if it is within our power to meet those to a certain degree–without thinking about the effect of our actions on ourselves–then we have reached the point of putting love “in the doing and the giving.” Furthermore, if we can shift our perspectives to always be focused on the needs of others, then all that we do and give is a result of love.
Mother Theresa also said that “love is not measured by how much we do; love is measured by how much love we put in; how much it is hurting us in loving.” Challenge yourself to put love into the things you do and give to others. Start small and continue to act and give out of love, which is the purest form of motivation of all.
Do something or give something to another out of love today, and think not about how it will affect you.
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 are doing in your life?
For further thought:
“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” ~ Amy Carmichael