Quid pro quo has often been defined in this way: "Something that is given to you or done for you in return for something you have given to or done for someone else." Unfortunately, this is how many people live their lives. I know I struggle with it. When my wife is loving and pursuing me, it is much easier for me to love her. When my kids obey and run to me when I walk into the door at night, it is easy for me to want to spend time with them and give them things. It certainly is easier to study for my Sunday sermon when people compliment me on my sermons. The only problem with each of these scenarios is that they are natural.
The Christian armed with the gospel is called to be supernatural. It is not this for that, it is this for nothing. That's what Jesus did in the gospel. One of my favorite gospel authors, Tullian Tchividjian puts it in these terms:
"As much as we might wish the world--and we ourselves--didn't operate according to debits and credits, there is always a cost to what we do. We are conditional beings living in a conditional universe. 'I called you last time, now it's your turn to call me.' 'If you lie to me, there must be an apology before we're good again.' The condition must be met, the cost must be paid--'either I swallow my pride, you say you're sorry, or we never talk to each other again.' But the debt has to go somewhere. Christianity alone affirms that the God who makes the demands also met those demands for us in the person of Jesus. That God would design to reach us in a way that both acknowledges and resolves these fundamental realities is not juvenile or overly abstract/economic--it is both gracious and miraculous. We are both fully known and fully loved." (One Way Love, 95-96)
He is saying we are free to forgive and be wronged because God not only gave the demands, but also met them on our behalf. I would challenge you to think deeply of how this issue of Quid Pro Quo is abolished because of the gospel in your life (or at least it should be).
It is supernatural for me to pursue my wife when there is nothing coming in return. It is supernatural for me to give to my kids when they despise me. It is supernatural for me to study for the Sunday sermon when people hate my preaching (although, there is probably much more to it than that).
How do you see Quid Pro Quo in your life?