DayBreaks for 08/23/19: Misplaced Expectations
From the DayBreaks archive, August 2009:
We all have expectations. We have expectations of others, we have expectations of our pets, of our employers, of our employees, of our spouses, children, friends, government…we even have expectations of ourselves. If only having expectations meant that they would be lived up to and realized!!!! But alas, such is not the reality of the world in which we live. I so often fail to live up to my expectations for myself…why should I be so insistent that others should live up to the expectations I have of them?
God sees us much better than we see ourselves. He sees us with perfect clarity. I know that often He sees things in me that he doesn’t care for. I would like to delight His heart at all times, though I know I don’t.
In The Gospel According to Job, Mike Mason contemplates the expectations we have of ourselves as Christians. Though we may often find others have failed to live up to our expectations, the inevitable conclusion that Christians must reach is that we fail miserably to live up to the holy and righteous demands of God. And that can cause us massive turmoil and anxiety – because we KNOW, plain and simple, that we just don’t cut it. As a result, many re-double their efforts to “be good” and to “make God happy with me.” Isn’t that just another way of trusting in our own perfection (or as close to perfection as we can get)?
Mason insightfully wrote: “God’s delight is not in a life lived in undeviating virtue, but rather in seeing the most twisted and chaotic life turned in humble expectation towards Him. The truly righteous person, it turns out, is the one who places no expectations upon himself. From God he expects everything, but from himself he expects nothing, because he knows he is but dust.”
Are you discouraged in your Christian walk because you just can’t seem to “get it right” no matter how hard you try? Do you get down on yourself because of that? Does it lead you to work all the harder? Guilt will never be a kind task-master, nor will it ever be a wonderful motivator. Love is a much better motivator, but even our love won’t be perfect – but the good news is that our love doesn’t have to be perfect, because His love is!
A truly humble, righteous person doesn’t have expectations of themselves other than that they will get it wrong – over and over again – and that God will get it right. If our expectations are based on my getting better, on my slow but steady improvement, my expectations are in the wrong place. May my expectations, like my hope, rest in His goodness alone!
And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. – Romans 5:5 (NLT)
PRAYER: What a relief it is that You are a good God, One who will never disappoint us nor let us down! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>