Let me just clarify really quickly. I refuse to lower my expectations of God’s glory in spite of the disappointment I’ve known through relationships with people. Please read to the end, words will make it more clear.
Here’s a bit of my story:
When I started attending Narcotics Anonymous during a particularly confusing time in my life, I heard a statement that shaped my thinking. It helped me, and it also prepared me for a new revelation.
This statement could probably be found on a website for quotes on expectations, but I heard someone say, “Expectations are the parents of disappointment.”
So when I relate this concept to logic, I see the wisdom of being cautious when giving away trust. Trust is related to hope, and hope can be damaged through a person’s betrayal or failure.
So, this sentiment parallels another:
I should never trust people because people fail.
We can be disappointed when we trust. It’s true. No doubt. This has been proven over an over again.
I accept that people fail, and I have no expectation that this will change.
But there exists another issue, a more subtle matter, that begs to be revealed. Many times we place invisible expectations on other people. We do this to the people closest to us a lot of times, but we can unsuspectingly overload our expectations on absolutely anyone if we choose.
When we do this, we skip the whole communication process and just expect that people will do the “right thing” or at least the expedient thing. Our expectations then prevent us from having relationships and also cause us to resent people without them even knowing sometimes.
We can trust that people will fail us.
We can also see how we superimpose our expectations on others as well.
It seems to me that relationships can present great difficulty. But simple and easy solutions exist for these two issues.
One, we could take time before we trust in people. Maybe we think we can get a good read on a person, but maybe we could just slow down and not jump into a situation where we are overly vulnerable without first ascertaining our true security. If we do this, we can learn to gauge our expectations and not experience as much disappointment.
Two, we could communicate with the people closest to us. If we want things done a certain way, we could just tell a person. This gives us freedom from assumption and also sets healthy boundaries in relationships that will tend to allow us to grow together instead of apart.
Expectations of God
Okay, that being said, I alluded to a new revelation in the beginning of this post. What is it?
My new revelation (this one might blow your mind): God isn’t a person – subject to whim, fantasy or failure.
He won’t suddenly choose to not be there for me because of other arrangements or engagements. His word says that He will never leave me or forsake me. If I apply faith to that word, my faith leads to an expectation that I know I can trust God to not leave.
He isn’t some mysterious being that I can’t possibly understand. Even though his ways are far above my ways and his thoughts above my thoughts, I can still know his character and integrity and what he thinks about me. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” So he can be Almighty and still be concerned about my life.
Here’s the big one. He won’t fail. People say it and I believe it, “God can do anything but fail.” James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” There is no sense that at some point God will turn around and you will see his true self, that he isn’t able to do what he wants to accomplish in my life. It just won’t happen.
With God, what you see is what you get.
Since we can’t see him with our eyes, my new revelation leads me to expect to understand him in my spirit. We don’t have to apply the same logic to God, like my original thinking that expectations were the parents of disappointment. Instead, I can know that I won’t ever be alone. He won’t ever leave. He will never fail me, and I can trust his promises to me.
Ultimately, trusting in God gives me the strength of excellence. My actions can define my faith and my faith can define my actions.
My old way of thinking only resulted in constant insecurity and its resultant mediocrity.
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