The world is full of expectations. Like that sign that says, no shoes, no shirt, no service. Sheesh! I have to wear shoes? Relationships are the same way. People have all kinds of expectations and early in my adulthood, I didn’t like anyone putting their expectations on me. I was a rebel. Then I went through the opposite phase where everyone’s expectations affected me. I worried that no one liked me, or I worried what other people thought all the time. I got into the habit of people pleasing and looking to other people before I formed my opinion. That is a dangerous position because there is no standard by which to measure the advice you receive. How do you know if someone is telling you the truth? How do you know if they have your very best interests in mind?
There are three kinds of expectations I want to talk about today; expectations from other people, expectations of ourselves and expectations from God. How can we cultivate healthy expectations in all three.
First and foremost we must find out what God expects of us. If you’ve lived very long in this world, you’ve already realized that most people, including yourself, are out for themselves. God is the only one who will unselfishly look out for what is really best for you. He cares. John 3:16 says, “God so loved that He gave…” and He keeps giving. No one could out-give God. Romans 2:4 says, “the goodness (kindness) of God leadeth thee to repentance (or a change of heart)?” But before you can see all that goodness and giving and love on God’s part you have to find out who He is and why He made you. That is where YOU come in. God can’t learn about Himself for you. You have to do that.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Who does it say we show? Ourselves! We study to prove to ourselves what God is all about. A lazy workman is like an unfaithful steward. In the end they let themselves down.
“Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble [is like] a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” Proverbs 25:19
It is very hard to depend on a foot out of joint, especially when you need it.
Every field needs experts and teachers, but when it comes down to you really knowing the Word, get the information from God about God. You may have already noticed that this blog uses tons of scripture when making a point. All scripture is for doctrine, reproof or correction right. I’ve never found a subject in the world that the Word doesn’t cover. And the great things is, God made His Word easy for consumption, even for a three-year-old. It is the purest spiritual food there is.
Other People’s Expectations
What do “other people” really know? Can they read your mind? Do they know what’s on your heart? Other people include; our parents, our friends, our relatives, work buddies and general acquaintances. Everyone has an opinion. How do we treat those opinions in the rank of importance? We need the fellowship of others.
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42
We especially need prayers and the Word from that fellowship. This verse is the recipe for building positive, encouraging expectations and friendships with other people. I’ve made a rule in my life that I hardly ever have to break. If someone doesn’t want a friendship full of prayer and fellowship around God’s Word, I politely excuse myself from it. Yes, we have many people around us who do not believe God, or believe like we believe. But a koinonia friendship where two people full-heart share and trust each other without God in the midst is like…well, having confidence in a foot out of joint. Eventually it’s going to hurt.
I’d like you to look back at the first two expectations. They look way-hey too simple don’t they. Ha! I know! When I first got into the Word, I wanted to complicate everything because that’s what the world does.
“But God hath chosen the foolish (simple) things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” 1 Corinthians 1:27
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Sweetheart!
So if all of this is so simple Terri, what should I expect from myself?
I’m so glad you asked. Remember, we are learning here how to cultivate healthy expectations. That means these tips are time resistant, stain resistant, scratch resistant, and true to form regardless of the stress they undergo. So here is the simplest expectation of them all.
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 22:37-39
You are sooo priceless and valuable to God. Then when you, as His child, turn around and love Him back you are going to do the loving thing to yourself. You are also going to act in love towards your neighbor/other people.
It really is that simple. It all comes down to one thing. Love God and be yourself. For this is truly the greatest expectation.
God Bless You Today!!