Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: Great Expectations

Wednesday's Word

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Great Expectations

Hello All,

If you’ve ever found yourself trying to make sense of interpersonal relationships, you’ve probably been presented with the idea of expectations. I can’t say that I’ve ever heard “expectations” as a positive thing. Actually, I’ve mostly heard that having expectations are a recipe for disaster. If you've heard something different I’d be interested to hear from you. But the fundamental question remains: Are expectations really bad? Again, this is one of those situations where I think giving some real thought to the question will dissuade us from quickly offering the “canned” answers. Sadly, many of us fall victim to the ‘wide pendulum swing’ when it comes to certain things; especially when it “works” in our favor. Here’s an example of the wide pendulum swing, and it’s basically the idea of presenting an unreasonable option as the only viable option depending on our disposition and situation:

Child: “Mommy, can I have a donut?”
Mom: “No you may not.”
Child: “But I’m hungry, do you want me to starve?”

This may not sound familiar to YOU, but maybe to somebody you know. Now of course this example makes it obvious, but in real life things have a way of happening more subtly. In light of that, we should try and be aware of our tendencies when it comes to expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that expectations are good and should be embraced in all circumstances. That would also be an extreme swing of the pendulum as well. When all is said and done, we need to keep a balanced perspective; to embrace the good while at the same time avoiding unreasonable expectations.

Here’s The Word;

Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers

Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not

James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

If expectations were bad in themselves, God, who obviously has more than a few expectations for His children, would not be setting a good example. But how often does our pendulum swing negate God’s expectations of us? Too often these days, our behavior is more reflective of the culture than Christ. We feel wronged and immediately seek to involve authorities. The Bible directly addresses the issue of how we defend ourselves in the household of faith. 1 Corinthians 6:7 “expects” us to rather suffer being wronged rather than take another believer to the “worlds” court system. No! It’s not saying “be quiet and let people do to you what they want”.

You see on the other hand, Scripture also speaks of being careful with the company you keep and says explicitly not to ‘cast your pearls before swine’, so it’s perfectly reasonable to have and to be open about expectations you have when it comes to relationships. Seek wisdom. Spend time making sure that you don’t have a wildly swinging pendulum. Disaster comes when expectations aren’t reasonable. It’s not an easy topic but The Bible is God’s Mind and it says what it says for His greatest Glory and our greatest good and if we embrace the whole Bible with our whole selves, our lives will give proof to the life-enriching effect of God’s Great expectations.

In Him,


Blogger culinarygnus said...

After reading this twice, it caused me to think about the great expectation we have placed on God. Our expectation of God has turn Him into a Heavenly ATM instead of seeing Him for wo who he is A father with unconditional love.

4:09 PM  
Blogger bcreed said...

I am just getting around to reading this (12/28), but I noticed the phrase "unrealistic expectations." I think these are at the heart of our disappointments. Perhaps we expect the holidays to be perfect, which is certainly unrealistic, and when they are not, we are depressed. Other times we expect behavior from people that is beyond what we are willing or able to do ourselves. Again, this is unrealistic. No wonder we are disappointed. I think it's perfectly OK to have high expectations of ourselves as long as these expectations are indeed realistic! Regarding expectations of others... well, this depends on the circumstances, but we must always remember to keep our expectations realistic.

3:02 PM  

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