January 6, 2011

Agreed Expectations

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- January 6, 2011

“Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” Amos 3:3

Sometimes it is difficult to agree upon expectations and in reality we deal daily with expectation management. We are expected to do certain things at work, home and in friendships—also we project our expectations on others. We know God expects faithfulness from us and we have expectations of Him, but having expectations of others can get us into trouble.

We may be expecting the wrong things, or our expectations may be unclear or unrealistic or unrighteous. The same can be said for what others expect of us. At work you thought one outcome was expected while your supervisor expected something different. Even after the goals were put into writing there were still different interpretations of the facts.

Indeed, it is easier to corral expectations of simple tasks. I can expect or even require my child to complete their homework. This is not unreasonable and I would be an unfit parent if I did not provide some framework of expectations for my children. However, I would be an equally ineffective parent if I had expectations of my child, but did not communicate those with grace and understanding. Clarifying expectations takes time.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Furthermore, the more your trust grows in a relationship the fewer the expectations. Trust precludes the need for expectations. Trust causes many expectations to expire. When you place your total trust in God you default to character expectations. You expect His love to be unconditional. You expect His forgiveness to be infinite. You expect to avail yourself to His wisdom. Your expectations are character driven rather than cynical driven.

It becomes about God’s will, not our wants. Healthy expectations revolve around God and His desires. The focus is off me but on God and others. He orchestrates the concert of life, so the goal is to discover His role for me and then follow His lead. Then the motive for people becomes one of serving each other in order to carry out God’s plan for their life.

How can you facilitate understanding God’s will for your spouse, child or work associate? This is not always easy to discern, but character driven expectations can get to the point of their true need and you can help meet that need. Focus on building trust in the relationship and communication will flow more clearly and compassionately.

Focus on fewer expectations and more on trust. Allow your expectations to begin and end with the character of God. Expect less and you will receive more—you can expect His faithfulness. Agree to expect what God expects and allow your expectant desires to birth God’s will. “And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us” (2 Corinthians 8:5).

What does the Lord expect of me in the life roles He has assigned to me?

Related Readings: Job 29:21; Psalm 5:3; Matthew 20:1-16; Philippians 1:20

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