For the rest of your life, you could treat other people well as a means to an end. “If I do this for you, I’ll get that from you sometime later.” If this is the case, life is just a series of transactions of which your mind keeps the world’s most detailed ledger…
Jane | September 6, 2011 | I told her her hair looked nice | +0.26 credits | ending balance +28.54 credits
Jane | November 8, 2013 | I gave her a ride to the airport | +2.73 credits | ending balance +31.27 credits
Jane | October 1, 2014 | Jane gave me a bite of her sandwich | -0.56 credits | ending balance +30.71 credits
Gross. (Also, Jane and I apparently have a strange friendship.)
The other way would be to treat people well because you’ve been treated well. Regardless of the response you receive or how great a debt they may wind up owing you.
In this case you treat others well because you choose to. Choose to pay the balance for them because you aren’t paying with your own currency anyways. Choose to pay for them – with kindness, patience, gratitude, and understanding – out of the surplus God has given you. Every time you give becomes an opportunity to remember how much you’ve been given.
I mean, sure. You could walk around trying to give and take, keeping track of who owes you what and when. But that’s a lot of trouble and unnecessary effort.
It’s easier and more fulfilling to walk around just trying to give because you have no reason to take. I mean, you’ve already got it all.