You make a big pot of soup and take a container to a neighbor. It seems that before you even return home, the container is waiting on your doorstep filled with some delicious food from her kitchen.

You do some act of kindness for a friend just to be of service. Before you can even settle back in, a return gift arrives.

Sometimes you wonder if what you are doing is a form of manipulation. I learn that if I do a small thing for someone, they’ll return the favor with something I like.

Or, maybe you are that person who reciprocates. You just can’t stand feeling like you owe someone something. Or, perhaps unlike me you were taught to return favors. (It would be a long post to talk about the social graces I was not taught as a child.) But, you become obsessive about doing a return favor.

Intention forms one of key attributes of our spiritual formation. Are we careful to check our intentions regularly to assure that we are following Jesus’ command to do things in love?

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