August 8, 2014

Healthy Expectations

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 8, 2014

My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. Psalm 62:5-6, NKJV

Unhealthy expectations grow an unhealthy soul. Unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others creates discontentment and joyless living. We may force a smile from habit, while our heart’s true happiness is contingent on another’s approval. We spiral down into self absorption when our emotional diet consists primarily of what others think about us. So we strive seeking a phantom peace from imperfect people or a nonexistent utopia. An insecure soul loses perspective and feels overwhelmed. Thus, we pray to replace unhealthy expectations with healthy ones.

Healthy expectations between individuals varies on their past experiences and present circumstances. So, wise couples take the time to talk through what they need from each other. A season of raising preschoolers may require both parents to be home to serve the children and support each other at breakfast, dinner and bedtime. At work, respectful collaboration between team members clarifies each other’s roles around a project. Clarity leads to communication. A follow up document defining the discussion becomes a helpful tool to manage expectations. Healthy expectations at work protects our health, our job and provides a sustainable pace for all.

“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 it look like to abandon ourselves to Christ? We tend to exceed another’s expectations when we first give ourselves to the Lord. It means we surrender everything about us to God. Our life, our death, our health, our family, our friends, our job, our finances, our past regrets, our present struggles, our future fears and yes, our expectations; we entrust everything to Jesus. What we give to the Lord is secured, what we hang on to is unsecured. By God’s grace we can exceed another’s expectations when we love and serve them according to God’s will. Everyone’s happy!

Furthermore, we cultivate healthy expectations as we wait on God alone to meet our needs and fulfill our dreams. Our heavenly Father longs to love us where we are and move us closer to the heart of His son Jesus. He finds great joy in giving us just what we need when we need it. And yes, by the work of His Spirit He leads people into our lives who are agents of grace. Ultimately however, we place our expectations in God. We trust Him to give us the grace to be gracious to those who need us. Healthy expectations flow from our hearts when we are content in Christ alone.

“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I place my expectations in You. Use me to exceed the expectations of others.

Related Readings: Genesis 48:11; Psalm 130:5; Matthew 20:10; Romans 8:19; Philippians 1:20

Post/Tweet today: What we give to the Lord is secured, what we hang on to is unsecured. #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: Tim Keller 6 minute audio on True Happiness-

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