The Problem with Expectations

I got the following email the other day from a brother name Hal about my most recent book. He pegs my favorite part of that book and I thought some of you might find our exchange helpful.

I am teaching your book Authentic Relationships, at my (congregation). I have really enjoyed and identified greatly with chapters 1-3. However, chapter 4 nailed me to the cross! I have been the master of expectations in my life and consequently the lives of those around me. What peace to be free from expectations! What soundness of mind! Thanks for your obedience in recording your thoughts from God!

Based on my journey with the Lord I will need to study this area more to cause it to grow. What do you recommend studying to really cultivate this thought in the soil of my heart?

Is it really freedom from all expectations or rather freedom from my expectations? Perhaps it is seeking the expectations of our Heavenly Father in all situations. Being like Jesus “channeling” (could not think of a more Christian term for being completely yielded) His father we are to “channel” Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit—a voluntary yieldedness and cooperation with diety.

I don’t know that I can recommend a book to sort this out. I think we truly sort it out in life listening to Father as we work through our relationships with others. The more we see how our expectations destroy our freedom to love others, and how it turns them into a pawn for our own needs, the more we’ll distrust them. And besides, once we learn to rely on God to meet all our needs, there will be nothing left to ‘expect’ from others. It’s amazing. At the same time, people even become a greater blessing in our lives because God will use them to touch us, but not having our expectations in the way of that doesn’t confuse it.

And I do think it is freedom from all expectations, because we aren’t very good at discerning between our own expectations and God’s. And besides I’m not sure God has expectations of us. He gives us opportunities and allows us to do exactly what is in our heart to do. Genuineness is what is close to God’s heart, not people performing to please others.

I get to live in him today as freely as I am able, and release my brothers and sisters to do the same…

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4 Comments
  1. Dominic May 10, 2005 at 6:45 pm

    Im not sure growing is something we "do" persea is it?Its kind of "done" to us in a sense wouldnt you say??

  2. Dominic May 10, 2005 at 9:45 pm

    Im not sure growing is something we "do" persea is it?Its kind of "done" to us in a sense wouldnt you say??

  3. bill May 16, 2005 at 3:08 am

    its very hard to handle and allow freedom ,when we are used as pawns for others often a risk when bieng vulnerable and loving! often have to let them people out of your life-the ones who will manipulate you-but it hurts

  4. bill May 16, 2005 at 6:08 am

    its very hard to handle and allow freedom ,when we are used as pawns for others often a risk when bieng vulnerable and loving! often have to let them people out of your life-the ones who will manipulate you-but it hurts

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