Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lenten Reflections: Expectations

"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." - Matthew 5:48 

Do we expect to be perfect? Or is this an unrealistic expectation from God?

It's not even 9am, and I've already blown this concept. How about you? How are you IMperfect today?

Greed? Lust? Selfishness? Anger? Hatred? Bitterness? ___________?

Our sense of entitlement can lead to negative expectations.

Negative expectations don't make us better, they make us flawed. Negative expectations put the focus on ourselves, not others. Not God. Not the Kingdom.  Positive expecting makes us perfect.    

"God, I expect you to do this for me!  I deserve it!" = SELF


 "God, I expect You to do this! Because You are good!" = GOD

"I expect you to make me happy! I deserve to be happy, dammit!" = SELF


"I expect you to make me happy! Because of who you are!" = OTHERS

Expectations, or demands? Joyful anticipation, or selfish lingering?

Negative expectations are an inner driven motivator. Real expectation comes from the external goodness of God and the world around us. 

What we think we deserve and what we come to expect, from ourselves and from others, can easily become one and the same thing.




When we feel entitled, the natural progression is to expect that which we feel entitled to. This becomes unfair to ourselves and others. It's not right. And it's unhealthy to our relationships.

As selfishness is the motivator for entitlement, arrogance breeds expectations.

Lent is the perfect time to meditate on the concept of negative expectations, because it opens the door for us to see just how arrogant we can be.

As we move closer to Easter, let's commit to negatively expect nothing from others, but to EXPECT the best IN others. Let's refuse to negatively expect God to change us because we are entitled, but EXPECT God to transform us because of who He is.

Lord, we expect an awful lot from You and others. Not all of our expectations are positive, in fact, most of them arise from a selfish arrogance. Help us to learn to expect from an outside perspective, not inner. Help us to expect because of the goodness in others and You, not selfishness. Amen. 

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