I know I’m not alone when I say I hate to disappoint people. Like many others, I have this tendency to want to make other people happy. Thankfully, I have friends in my life who help make sure that I don’t get too carried away. One such friend regularly reminds me to have a mental makeover in order to make sure that I’m doing things for others out of a spirit of generosity not obligation. It definitely helps me stay sane.
Because of my desire to try to please people, I often find myself attempting to lower expectations. In fact, given the opportunity, I try to disavow them all together. I don’t want someone else to think I can do something or be someone that I’m not sure I’ve progressed to. So I strive to lower the bar, to set other people’s eyes on what I’m fairly confident is achievable. It’s my way of managing other people’s potential disappointment.
Sometimes we do the same thing with God. Especially for those of us who are blessed with having been raised in a church, we usually have a fairly good understanding of what God expects from us and what He doesn’t. In fact, He intentionally makes it difficult to obscure. “Follow Me” is what He said to the disciples . . . and its what He still says to today.
The simplicity of Jesus’ instructions don’t make them palatable. We know that we should give up all rights to ourselves and we also know how much we want to do our own thing. We know we should love others with a greater magnitude than we love ourselves yet we find ourselves sitting in judgment. We try to tell God, “no, Lord, don’t send me.” because we’re not sure that we’re up to the task.
Expectations, however, only seek to define that which has not yet been determined. If we fail to live up to God’s expectations, He’ll find another way to accomplish His purpose. When we evade God’s expectations, we avoid the risk of failure and the reward of obedience.
We can’t escape the expectations of others. But when we run from God’s expectations for our lives we disavow our chance to be involved with His agenda and to be used for His renown.