We came to the widow’s mites (gets the DDT, nicotine sulfate, and organophosphates out because there’s no kill like overkill).
Something struck me about the concept of giving without expectation. If one gives money to charity in an attempt to emulate, or share, God’s generosity, is one not still giving with the expectation of getting something? I.E., giving something (money/time/etc.) with the hope of getting something (heaven/more members/better facilities/less guilt/etc.) in exchange?
Back in my bioscience days, I remember several of my profs noting that altruism simply does not exist; i.e. no known critter gives of itself simply to give of itself, there is always a benefit, or in the case of humans, a perceived benefit, if you look hard enough. If you apply it to humans, you see the same thing. The guy/gal who jumps on the live grenade in the foxhole gets momentary satisfaction from protecting his/her comrades, and/or thoughts about sacrificing oneself for others). The same applies for various martyrs that in dying for the faith, they expect to receive greater rewards later (i.e. the brothers and mother in Maccabees).
Having a very hard time wrapping my head around the concept of giving without expectation, as there is always some hidden, or not so hidden, benefit to what people and animals do. A family is paying for the complete costs of renovating the interior of the local church’s sanctuary. It’s “anonymous,” but I’m guessing that they are receiving personal benefits in terms of good feelings, etc. plus the benefit of getting rid of the remnants of carpeting that dates back to the 1970’s along with various upgrades.
So, how does one give without expectations? I am confused on the topic as it does not compute. When we donate money, are we not buying something, be it tangible or intangible, as surely as if you went to the store and bought say a loaf of bread?