Saturday, May 1, 2010

Expectations: Great or Not so Great?

As a society, I think we put a lot of weight into expectations. It’s things that we believe we deserve in this life…..I expect to get paid for the work I do, I expect my parents to show me they love me, I expect to be recognized or praised for the things that I do, I expect my child to behave in public, I expect my significant other to be in tune with me All the time to give me what I need……..I Expect.

Let’s take a closer look at these to gain a better understanding. The first example is our job, whether it is a meaningful position or something that make ends meet right now. We work, we expect to get paid. You spend your time away from family and friends, you spend your energy…… and for what, a monetary wage to show you how much you’re valued, how much you are worth. Hmmm. Why do we put an expectation on self-worth? We expect wages….well….wage is what we get!

Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death,”

So not only have we not performed completely; but our wage (that we expect) is death. Whoa, wait a second, I didn’t sign this contract……actually we all did! There is not one who can say that they are without fault and do not deserve these wages for sin in our lives.

Let’s try another example: Parental Love. I have expected love from my parents my entire life. I know many would say the same. But what if that love we expect doesn’t come? I have two struggles with this expectation: one is that I was adopted (my bio-logical parents gave me away) and my adopted father, although physically & financially stable, was Not emotionally there.

Adopted: I wasn’t given the opportunity to say, No, I don’t want to be given away. And for a long time I expected to be treated as someone given away, tossed aside, not wanted. I found that I couldn’t accept the love that my parents were giving because I was blocking it with the opposite expectation.

Ephesians 1:4-5 - " For he chose us in him before creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will."

God says we are all adopted by him, he is our family!!! He is all we Need!

Emotional Absence: sometimes emotional absence can be the worst. Growing up every grade, sports team and achievement was in expectation of my father's praise. I never really saw that which I expected. But we are all human, including me, including my father. We have no right to place our existence into expectations from human beings. We will be let down every time!!! However, we can look to the Holy Father, Abba Father (daddy God) who will never let us down!

Psalm 118:8 - "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."

The next two are related in the fact that they deal with people, in whom we hope to have control. Children and those we want recognition from. We approach these expectations like cause and effect......because I have taught my children the right things to do, I expect them to behave correctly.....because I have gone to all this trouble for someone, I expect that they will recognize me in some way. Seriously???!!!!??!! Are we really this selfish and out of our minds? i know that I have fallen in this category...and what was the outcome.....disappointment when I didn't get what I expected. I cannot help but state a widely used scripture reference because it is so perfect...

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 - "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres...."

And last but definitely not least: the expectation towards someone we're in a significant relationship with. How many times have you said "I wish they could read my mind, it would make it easier when I need something from them." Or...after a hard or emotionally stressed day expecting them to lift your spirits when you see or talk to them...what if they don't realize that you need that or had an equally crazy day? You automatically get disappointed and feel that they have failed you in some way! Here's another scenario: do you ever feel like you're expected to act a certain way or be a certain person around your other? Can you truly be your human self, flaws and all???
The point that I'm trying my best to get at is where our expectations should lay! Should they be placed on and among the people, hopelessly flawed people, in our lives? Or should we bring our gaze upward to the one and only Perfect being, Jesus Christ?

Psalm 62:6-8 - "He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."

God sent his son, Jesus, to walk as a His Holy royal garments for human flesh. Yet in his flesh he did not falter, although tempted and tried every step of his 33 years! Why? Because Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God, looked to His Father in Heaven above all others! When his beloved disciples stumbled, doubted, and fled...God was there. When Judas betrayed his teacher, his rabbi...God was there. When Peter denied Christ 3 times while Jesus was on trial...God was there.
We CANNOT put our expectations in people, they will disappoint guaranteed. Keep in mind that it may not be intentional, but all the same to let us down when we expect otherwise!
So the next time you find yourself saying "It'd be Great if this person _____________."...take it to God instead. Asking him to fill an expectation that you would place on someone in your life. See how God can fill that need for you way better than anyone else! He asks us...wants us to come to Him!

Philippians 4:6-7 -"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Matthew 11:28 - "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Psalm 147:3 - "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

Expectations can be Great when we take them to the only one who can meet them head on, JESUS!!!

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