My grandmother used to say, “expect not, and you will not be disappointed”! It’s funny because I at first I used to think that is sounds quite pessimistic, but have now come to realize that in many things it is a true statement. I have wasted many years in silent expectation. Wordlessly waiting for people to read my mind and fulfill my wishes and dreams!!! Upset when they don’t! Giving them the silent treatment and confusing them totally.
What are the things and behaviors we should hope for? We should be treated kindly and fairly. We should not put up with abuse and bad behavior. Neglect. But in the same token we can’t really expect it from someone who isn’t capable of it. It sounds like a vicious cycle, doesn’t it? It definitely is a fine line. Can we also expect respect when we don’t ask for it? If the other person isn’t capable of understanding what signals you’re sending…then have you actually tried saying something? Or do you continue with the silent treatment and then festering in bitterness? That’s usually what I do. I’m horrible at communicating my feelings. Learning….
We can also get caught up in expecting things from work or church…and not even realizing that we actually haven’t earned it. We want recognition and promotion, but haven’t worked toward it. We wonder why we are passed by when better jobs come by. Sometimes we are passed by, not because we don’t work hard, but because the spirit that we exude is twisted. We live with an attitude of entitlement. And when you think about it, that’s a hard attitude to work with, as a coworker or as a boss. When we adjust our attitudes and encourage others to succeed, there is a natural consequence. We become less attached to needing recognition. We become more peaceful within ourselves.
God has created us to expect great things!! We, as the human race, have twisted that to be material, instead of spiritual. There is teaching out there that tells us that if we do certain things, believe certain things, and pray certain prayers that God will reward us with stuff!! That’s not true. He doesn’t promise us cars, homes, money…He promises to be with us. When we align our expectations with His will, then our prayers are answered in tangible ways. He wants to see us live a life of great expectation. Expect miracles! Expect to feel His presence! Expect a life of peace and joy, through whatever you might encounter. There might be material reward. But it might also be taken away later. It’s when we don’t attach our lives to these things, then we can live the life that is intentional and fulfilling.