It really is all about expectations. Like ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
As Christians, our expectations shouldn’t change. We should be (based on scripture) ever-growing in joy, peace, love, faithfulness, gentleness, kindness, goodness, patience, and self control. We should be counting our sufferings as joy, turning the other cheek, living without fear or worry. These are the things the bible says.
If only it were that easy. To trust and believe these things and live them out. It takes discipline. It takes being in a constant posture of prayer and humility. A posture of receiving from the Lord. The knowledge that we can’t do anything apart from Him (John 15:5) but with him, all things are possible (Matt. 19:26).
If we lived this way, I dare to say that we wouldn’t be disappointed. Or at least we wouldn’t live in a state of disappointed. We wouldn’t be surprised at the world and at broken people. We wouldn’t take it personally or remain shocked that a person could be so vengeful. We wouldn’t gossip to our friends and family about how so-and-so offended us.
We would communicate clearly and directly what we want, what we expect from people. We wouldn’t fear people or their outcomes. We would say what we mean and mean what we say. We wouldn’t wait until we’re ready to explode to communicate our thoughts and desires.
We wouldn’t beat around the bush, get stuck inside our heads, constantly overthink everything, justify ourselves constantly when we wrong someone. We wouldn’t be quick to point out other’s mistakes and slow to admit our own… if we really believed what the bible says.
The only way to know what the bible says is to read it. To listen to it. To meditate on it day and night and not let it depart from our lips (Joshua 1:8).
The more we study the scriptures the better people we will become. Because the journey of being a christian is to become like Jesus more and more everyday. That happens slowly over time and only with the power of God living inside us. “Don’t you know you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” 1 Corinthians 3:16.
The bible helps us set expectations. The bible helps us meet other’s expectations.
The bible helps us communicate directly and not use empty words.
Words words words.
But what about the Word?
The Word of God is not a book of nonsensical ramblings. It’s the way, the truth and the life. And it’s ours, for free.
Whatever you’re going through right now, whether it’s in your job or with your partner or with a friend or someone you serve with at church or at a volunteer organization, know this:
We are to speak the Truth in love. And we aren’t always going to get it right. We’re going to fall short a lot. We are going to wish we had set an expectation with someone that we did not, and now we’re suffering for it. We’re going to learn what we expect from people as they let us down and only then do we realize how much somethings bothers us. We’re going to try and fail to keep someone’s set expectations. We’re going to get disappointed sometimes, frustrated sometimes, and hindsight is quickly going to become 20/20.
And the good news is, we can move forward. We can move on. We can re-state our expectations, explain what needs to be done or not done or changed in order to meet them. We can confess and apologize and move forward when we let someone else down. We can learn to formulate our thoughts and feelings into words in order to communicate our desires to others.
Be patient with people. Think of how long-suffering God is with us as we learn so so slowly how to abide by his word.
Forgive people. Remember, we forgive because God first forgave us. What other reason do we have? We know it’s the right thing to do because he tells us so.
View others with lenses of compassion, not condemnation. Not without forgiveness. Not despicably. Everyone starts somewhere. And we can’t expect others to know what we know. We can’t.
Do you have a good story of expectations and disappointments?